On Friday, January 22, 2016 Baltimore City experienced an unprecedented snow storm. Tamia Drayton, Office Service Clerk, employed by the Department of Assessments and Taxations (SDAT) braved the storm and reported to work. The Department of Budget and Management in anticipation of the storm issued a notice allowing the use of Administrative Leave from 1:00 P.M. until the close of their shift for non-essential employees. At 10:54 A.M. the Director of Personnel of SDAT issued an Agency wide e-mail which stated "For employees who chose to use liberal leave today, please code your time sheets with the appropriate leave code (annual, personal, or comp-no sick) for hours up to 1:00 P.M. For the remaining hours, (to the end of your shift) use code 86 Admin Leave. As a reminder, if you were already scheduled off (pre approved) you are required to use your own time."
Ms. Drayton submitted her time sheet indicating the use of Administrative Leave from 1:00 P.M. until the close of her shift for January 22, 2016. It was not until February 2, 2016 that another e-mail titled “Clarification” was sent which informed the employees of the error, and by that time Ms. Drayton's time sheet had already been completed. SDAT management directed Ms. Drayton to change her time sheet to reflect using her own leave from her leave balance and that she would not be receiving Administrative Leave. Ms. Drayton followed the directive and then called her union (MCEA).
Michael Keeney, Labor Relations Specialist for MCEA filed a timely grievance on her behalf. A hearing was held on March 2, 2016 whereas Mr. Keeney argued that Ms. Drayton merely followed the instructions that were given her in the initial e-mail and that had she known at that point she would have opted to stay. Additionally, it would be unjust and disingenuous for management to force her to use her own leave for management's failure to properly inform employees of their obligations.
The hearing officer agreed and ordered that Ms. Drayton's leave be restored to her leave balance and that she be granted her requested 4 hours of Administrative Leave. Ms. Drayton stated, “I am very proud to be a member of MCEA and am grateful for their professional representation and for obtaining justice in this matter."
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