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  #51  
Old 04-05-2016, 03:21 PM
silverstaff silverstaff is offline
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An update.

I got a call from the attorney for the state.

I have an appointment this afternoon to review and sign the papers.

. . .the state still hasn't signed them. Remember what I said about a shakeup in the state leadership? The position of Director is still vacant, and new cabinet official is apparently very busy and hard to get ahold of. The attorney is trying to get in to meet the official, explain the whole situation to them, and get them to sign the papers.

So, trying to expedite this, the attorney wants to get my signature, then try to get the new senior official to sign off on it, then get the signature from the HR office, rather than get their signatures and wait for me to come in and sign it the attorney is getting me to sign it while waiting on getting in to speak with senior leadership.

Seems like the attorney is getting as frustrated as I am with how long this is taking. . .probably at least in part because the pay for this is all retroactive, once the deal is signed (or the Board orders my reinstatement) I get paid retroactively for all this, meaning the longer they delay the bigger my settlement gets.

In any case, later today I'll be going to review and sign the document. We'll see if they threw in an NDA or not, and I'll have done what I can do to bring this to a conclusion.

  #52  
Old 04-05-2016, 09:29 PM
silverstaff silverstaff is offline
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I've signed the papers.

As of 2:15 today, the papers are signed.

There was no NDA attached. The terms of the settlement are as follows:

1. Neither side admits any fault. They refuse to say that my termination was due to military status, I refuse to say that my termination was due to inadequate performance of my job, officially this settlement is considered "a result of a compromise of the disputed claims".
2. They agree to rescind my termination and reinstate me with all back pay and benefits (including pension contributions, vacation & sick time) from the time of my termination to the time of my reinstatement.
3. They put me back to work at an office that's not the one I was at before (the way the personnel system is set up, that basically guarantees I'll never be working for my old boss ever again).
4. They will remove all documentation of this incident from my personnel file at both the agency and the state government's HR office.
5. They are asking the Personnel Board to vacate every single order and finding they've produced regarding this case, this is the section that apparently took a while for the lawyers to hash out.
6. I agree to not file any kind of lawsuit against the agency for over this issue.
7. I agree to drop the appeal.

Now from here. . .

Sometime between tomorrow and next Thursday, the attorney for the state tries to get in to see the new boss and explain the situation and gets a signature from the boss.

Then they get a signature from an attorney at the state gov's HR office, this is strictly pro-forma since they already approved the wording of the agreement.

Then they take it to the Board and when the board meets next Friday they review the agreement, approve the settlement, and agree to dismiss the case as settled (and take into consideration the State's request to vacate all their prior orders and findings from the case).

Then sometime week-after-next this goes to the State Gov's HR office to start the process of actually reinstating me and getting me back on the payroll and back to work. . . this takes several weeks.

I was warned that the process of paying out the back pay isn't instant and will take them a little while to pay, due to bureaucracy involving pension withholdings and payments into it. Because it involves them retroactively paying over a year of contributions into my state's law enforcement pension system, and the system isn't well set up for that, so they know it'll be a paperwork nightmare to set that up on their end.

  #53  
Old 04-05-2016, 11:28 PM
silverstaff silverstaff is offline
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Quote:
Quoth greek_jester View Post
How long have they got to get whoever it is up to speed and signing off the papers before the court steps in and forces a judgement? I'm beginning to wonder if this new person is playing Keep Away.
The board meets next Friday. There are three things that can happen next Friday.

1. They approve the settlement, if the new boss signs the papers by then.
2. They render a final judgment in my favor, if the boss doesn't sign and I do nothing else.
3. They postpone the issue for another month to give time for the boss to sign it, if both me and the attorney for the State agree to petition the board for that.

  #54  
Old 04-08-2016, 09:17 PM
silverstaff silverstaff is offline
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I just got a call from the attorney.

The Governor appointed a new Director yesterday, today was her first day in office.

The attorney visited the new Director on her first day to briefly explain the situation and get her signature. Talk about a welcome to the job.

So, it's been signed off by the (new) Director of the Agency, and right before close-of-business the papers were dropped off at the State Gov's HR office for signature. Presumably they'll be signed on Monday, so they can drop off the papers at the Personnel Board on Friday and the settlement can be officially approved, putting me back on duty within the next few weeks.

  #55  
Old 04-12-2016, 10:26 PM
silverstaff silverstaff is offline
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An update for today.

I received a call from the attorney this morning. The papers have been signed by the head of the State Government HR office, apparently there was a delay because the attorney for HR was out of the office, so they had the head of the office sign the papers.

The settlement is now sitting at the Personnel Board where it is being read & reviewed by the board members. They'll discuss the settlement on Friday and formally vote on whether to accept the settlement, that's expected to be strictly a formality.

Sometime next week they'll formally produce a "Final Order" where they dismiss the appeal in exchange for the State going through with their terms of the settlement (i.e. giving me my job back with back pay & seniority, and removing all records of this from my personnel file).

Once I've received the final order in the mail, most likely late next week, I can start talking with HR about getting me back to work and back on the schedule.

Amusingly, I'll be gone most of next month on my annual military duties with the National Guard, so that's going to be slightly awkward with reinstating me during that month. They might wait until June, or they might have to reinstate me while I'm on leave. In any case, I'm sure they won't make any stink about it. . .since griping about that sort of stuff is what started this mess to begin with.

  #56  
Old 04-23-2016, 10:29 PM
silverstaff silverstaff is offline
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An update:

On Friday, I received in the mail a copy of the final "Settlement Order" from the state Personnel Board, dated April 20, 2016. It formally orders that the settlement that was agreed upon be enacted.

The careful, convoluted language asking the board to vacate all their findings and seal all records of the appeal were ignored, and they explicitly ruled in my favor, and ordered as relief, that the settlement be enacted.

I think they did that just to get it on the record that they did me wrong, so the state couldn't bury the incident.

I called the attorney on Friday morning, right after getting it, to start the process of getting back to work, but no callback yet.

So, I've got a final order from the board, explicitly in my favor and ordering that the settlement that puts me back to work be enacted.

  #57  
Old 04-25-2016, 08:29 PM
silverstaff silverstaff is offline
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Today's news:

I got a call from the attorney for the state. She's dropped the order from the Board off, with a copy of the settlement, to the state gov's HR office for them to start the paperwork.

I have been told to expect a call sometime later this week. I have been given the name of someone to call in the HR office on Monday, if I don't hear anything by next Friday.

A few people a while back suggested turning this into a War Story once I'm back at my job and getting paid again. While that's moderator discretion of course, I notice most of those are one post or a short set of posts, would an edited/complied version of this tale (including the predecessor thread that lead up to this, where I was being chewed out for taking time off for military duties) be more suitable for such a thing.

  #58  
Old 05-16-2016, 09:04 PM
silverstaff silverstaff is offline
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Today's update in this saga. . .

I'm on my National Guard annual training from the 5th through the 22nd. Today the Commander sent us home a little early because we were quite ahead of schedule on getting things done. That meant I had a little time to make some calls to my once and future employer.

I look up the phone number in the State employee directory for the person the Attorney told me to call, and go through the phone menu/maze to get an employee that says that's the wrong office, but they give me the number to the right office.

I get in touch with one of the people the attorney said they dropped off the paperwork with, and explained the basics of the issue (that I had been terminated, but after an appeal to the Personnel Board they had settled and agreed to re-employ me, but I'd heard nothing back about a start date for my job). I was told that the person who actually handles things like that (the OTHER person the attorney told me to contact if there was a delay) is out of the office and I'd e-mailed them a couple of weeks ago to no reply, so I'm wondering if they've been on vacation this whole time.

The person I spoke to was rather stand-offish, almost offended that I'd called, she said she didn't handle that kind of issue, someone else did, and they'd get to it eventually, and asked about when would I like to come back some time next month, or maybe in July or some time this fall. . .and seemed rather disinterested in the whole issue, almost put-off that they would have to take me back, and I got the feeling that they were going to foot-drag on my reinstatement as much as possible.

To the question of when did I want to come back, I explained that the settlement agreed that I would get full back pay from the time of my termination to my reinstatement, so they would be retroactively paying me for at least 15 months of pay, including the time I'm talking to her right now.

That changed her tone real quick.

She said that the person who was out of the office did have a staff in that office, and she would e-mail that staff right now, and CC the person who is out of the office, to see if anybody knows about my situation and can get back to me (she also got my phone number to put in the e-mail).

  #59  
Old 05-20-2016, 10:57 AM
silverstaff silverstaff is offline
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The newest update:

Yesterday morning at about 10:20 AM I got a call, from the District Supervisor of the agency office I will be working for, he was asking if I could start work next Monday, on the 23rd.

So, next Monday I start back to work.

All my friends who work for the State Government are amazed. . .they NEVER start people in the middle of a pay cycle, always on the 1st or 15th (starting someone in the middle of a pay cycle plays hell with the payroll paperwork), the fact they are putting me to work in the middle of the month says they are rushing things. . .probably because I pointed out that clause in the agreement that says I get back pay.

We'll see how things go that first day back.

I'll be honest, I was looking forward to resting that day. I've been on National Guard duty constantly for 15 days now, still 2 more days to go. I'm tired and sore and was really, really looking forward to a day or two of rest instead of a 5-day workweek. . .but I've been fighting to get my job back for 15 months so I can't exactly walk away now.

Also, it was pointed out that I should have a LOT of sick leave built up, since my old boss didn't let me take sick leave, and I should get credited with back sick leave too on top of pay and other benefits. If it wasn't literally my first day back I would probably call in sick.

  #60  
Old 05-24-2016, 01:45 AM
silverstaff silverstaff is offline
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Here's the story of my first day back.

I showed up to work and was buzzed in by the receptionist, and quickly shown to the manager of my new office.

He had a big stack of "New Hire" paperwork. Apparently they had NONE of my old personnel records anymore, so everything right down to the I-9 form has to be repeated.

They didn't have any of the usual stuff they'd have for a new employee, they don't have my e-mail account set up, or my logins for any of the computer systems my job requires (or even for the employee timesheet system), much less a computer or an office.

They really did seem to just be in a rush to get me on the clock ASAP, even if all I can do is sit at an empty desk (find someone who is not in the office today and sit at their desk) and fill out new-hire paperwork. From the sound of things, they won't have much for me to do for a while.

One thing that I'm concerned about is, that my official work location is the office I requested, which is about 25 minutes from my house. . .but the supervisor said they have no work for me at that office, and the only place they have work available is at another office. . .over an hour away from that office and an hour and a half from my home. So, at least 2 days a week I'll have to drive to work, then sign out a government car and drive an extra hour to another office to work that day, then drive back, clock out, and get in my car and drive home.

At least I'm on the clock for that, but it seems to be undermining the spirit of putting me at my choice of work location, but just dropping me in on an office could mean they really didn't have a need for another officer there.

My new boss is a chatty guy with a thick southern accent who says he's near retirement and is just trying to make it to retirement. One of the first things he asks me is "What IS your story anyway? It's something special, I know that, but what exactly happened?" I don't know if he just wanted my side of it, or if he wasn't being told much through the grapevine, but I told him a version of the story that covered the basics.

It's a small office, much smaller than my old one.

On the plus side, the central office for the agency is located in the same building as my new office. . .so if they are foot-dragging on my back pay, the office of the person who handles it is right down the hall from me. . .I have to walk past their office to even go to the restroom.

I'd make a much longer post, but I'm exhausted, after 17 days on National Guard duty and now a regular work-week, I'm feeling rather worn out. I'm certainly looking forward to the Memorial Day weekend.
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