MCEA Saves the Job of a Wrongfully Accused State Employee

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Ms. Shannon Morris, a Program Administrator for the state Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH), was removed from her job in November, 2016 for allegedly pushing another employee and providing false statements to management about the incident. MCEA took Ms. Morris’ case to the Office of Administrative Appeals (OAH) and won her job back!

The employee was accused of pushing a subordinate and of inappropriately touching her. Upon a review of the video available and the employee’s testimony, the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) concluded that the employee did not maliciously touch the subordinate and was probably unaware that she had touched her. The ALJ also concluded that the employee touched the subordinate on the arm to comfort her after the incident, not being aware that her subordinate believed she had been pushed. The ALJ determined that management had presented insufficient evidence to establish that any intentional touching had occurred between the employee and her subordinate, and that the manner in which management determined that the employee was being dishonest about the incident was “unfair and underhanded”. He ruled that DHMH unlawfully terminated the employee. He ordered that the employee be reinstated with all back pay and benefits to which she was entitled. He also ordered that the termination be expunged from the employee’s employment records.

The incident was a simple misunderstanding between the employee and a subordinate for which the state was willing to impose the maximum penalty. But MCEA came to this employee’s defense and pointed out the weaknesses of the state’s case. Without the expert representation of Hillary Galloway-Davis, MCEA’s Counsel, the employee may have been hard-pressed to fully convey the complexities of the case to the ALJ and ultimately receive the ALJ’s favorable decision.

MCEA fights every day for the jobs and dignity of each of its members. At MCEA, our motto is our promise that to us “the most important job is yours!”