Indiana State Employees Association

 

State of Indiana Negotiates with Former State Employee

 

After nearly three years of losing their job; spent hours petitioning the State Employees’ Appeal Commission (SEAC) to proceedings of judicial review, one former State of Indiana Employee has a reason to celebrate. The State of Indiana offered to sit down and negotiate a “Offer of Compromise” with this former state employee, to which was very beneficial to this  state employee.

 

What once started out as a promising career as a counselor for the Indiana Department of Corrections in the early spring of 2003, ended in job elimination in the summer of 2010. This employee was promoted not once, but twice during the seven year period that this employee worked for the state. And with each promotion, a higher salary was given, and even more job responsibilities were taken on by this worker. Now being given notice that the final position that this worker held was being eliminated and would be without a job, the  employee requested “to bump” or “displace” a less senior employee (Indiana Code Section 4-15-2-32) in one of their previous positions they had held but, were denied, and thus; lost their job in the Summer of 2010.

 

After the job was eliminated and the employee was dismissed, the employee followed the appropriate channels and filed a grievance with SEAC. It wasn’t until the fall of 2011 that an Administrative Law Judge entered a “Non-Final” Order in favor of the employee; however, it didn’t take long for the State of Indiana to file an objection to this ruling. By the time of spring 2012 rolled around, SEAC over-turned the administrative law judge and issued a “Final” Order in favor of the State of Indiana.

 

The employee did not give up with this ruling by SEAC; instead exercised the right to judicial review by petitioning the circuit court within thirty (30) days of the State Employees’ Appeals Commission’s Final Order. And in the fall of 2012, a circuit court judge heard oral arguments of both the former state employee and the State of Indiana position. By the start of 2013, the circuit court judge ruled that based upon all of the facts that were presented, that the State of Indiana was wrong, and that SEAC must reverse its “Final” Order, and thus siding with the employee.

 

So…..what happens now you might be thinking? Does the former state employee get to return to work? What happens to the seniority from the job elimination in the summer of 2010 until now……I mean it is 2013 right; almost 3 years later? Will the former employee be comfortable returning to work after fighting the state for nearly 3 years in court?

 

Of course, the State of Indiana will do anything to prevent having a bad image, so, the Indiana Department of Correction said they did no wrong, but, decided to sit down with the employee and this is what the  employee ended up with:

 

  • Retirement in good standings was given to the employee effective in the Spring of 2013
  • The employee had to dismiss with prejudice the SEAC case and the circuit court case
  • The employee could not pursue any further court actions against the State of Indiana or have anyone else pursue on their behalf any actions that may or may not have been a direct or indirect result of their employment with the state
  • The State of Indiana will insure that proper PERF and HealthCare reimbursements from the time of job elimination to the time of retirement was restored to the same amounts that it was prior to the job elimination
  • The State of Indiana was to pay out nearly $10,000 for vacation leave that was accrued and unused at time of separation
  • Nearly $90,000 was paid out for the time from job elimination to the retirement date

 

So, all in all, the state employee fought for almost 3 years in what was believed in, and never gave up. In the end, it worked out for the best, and this  employee, feels very blessed and is very thankful to all who represented, helped and supported through the whole ordeal!