Nebraska Association
of Public Employees

Tecumseh Member Wins Grievance Challenging Unjust Disciplinary Action

NAPE/AFSCME member Tyler Poteet is a Food Service Worker at the Tecumseh State Correctional Institution. To help in areas where staffing was short, Tyler would regularly volunteer for overtime by filling in as needed in the kitchen and at the gatehouse. Tyler was surprised when he was placed on a six month disciplinary probation for allegedly working overtime assignments without supervisory approval. 

The Department of Corrections alleged that Tyler did not obtain advanced approval from a supervisor to volunteer for overtime and that the extra hours he dedicated to the agency constituted “inefficiency, incompetence, and gross negligence in the performance of his duties” and that his actions “adversely affected his performance and the agency’s performance and function.” 

However, Tyler had obtained supervisory approval. In fact, his supervisor had not only approved his voluntary overtime verbally beforehand, but had been approving all of his voluntary overtime requests on his timecard for each alleged instance. Despite this documentation, the agency unilaterally decided that there was just cause for disciplinary action, and disciplined Tyler with a six-month probation. 

Tyler had been in contact with his NAPE/AFSCME union representatives for months while all of these events ensued. From informal investigatory meetings to pre-disciplinary meetings, Tyler ensured his representatives were involved throughout the entirety of the disciplinary process. When a grievance was filed alleging there was no just cause for discipline, Tyler’s diligent collaboration with NAPE resulted in insurmountable evidence and documentation against the agency’s position. The Department was ordered by a Hearing Officer to remove Tyler from disciplinary probation and to remove the discipline from his personnel file immediately.

If you find yourself in a situation that might lead to disciplinary action, it is your responsibility to ask for union representation. Please contact us right away for assistance if you find yourself in this situation.

Nebraska Association of
Public Employees