Saturday, May 17, 2008
County employee Douglas County fired for dropping ice wins reinstatement. Pierce v. Douglas Cty. Civil Serv. Comm., S-07-252, 275 Neb. 722 Douglas County facilities engineer and International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 571 member Nathan Pierce could not go unescorted near a co-worker at the Douglas County Hospital because he had angry confrontation with her before. Later as he went through her area he dropped a cup of ice near her nurse's station. Douglas County terminated him. Nebraska Supreme Court reverses the termination ruling and orders him reinstated because the District Court had jurisdiction to rule on Pierce's claim that the county board breached the collective bargaining agreement with the union. Also the violation if any was not serious enough to merit termination. "the district court had jurisdiction over Pierce’s claims that the Department breached the collectiver bargaining agreement (CBA) as far as those allegations were relevant to Pierce’s termination. However, we need not reach the merits of Pierce’s claims under the CBA. We conclude that the evidence shows the Department did not consider Pierce’s alleged conduct to be a serious violation of the Commission’s personnel manual, warranting termination. We therefore reverse the district court’s order affirming Pierce’s termination "