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An MDOT employee was Suspended Pending Charges for Termination for failing to go to work during hurricane Sandy.   The employee, an MCEA member called MCEA for representation.  In the case of a Suspension Pending Charges for Termination, a request for a settlement conference is filed with the Department of Transportation headquarters.  In this case, management refused to offer a reasonable settlement to the employee.  Therefore, MCEA filed his case to the Office of Administrative Hearings.  At issue at the hearing is whether the suspension without pay pending a decision on Charges for Termination is necessary to protect the interests of the Department.  A preliminary hearing regarding the suspension was held on January 28, 2013.  At the hearing management argued that they had lost trust in the employee, even though the employee had over 15 years of service and had never failed to appear at work during a weather related emergency in the past.  Rosemary Wertz, MCEA Labor Relations Specialist argued that management had misapplied the regulation, which should be used exclusively for individuals who represent some sort of threat to the department, other employees or members of the public.  Administrative Law Judge Sondra Spencer ordered the employee not remain suspended without pay pending the final disposition of the charges for termination on February 12, 2013.  According to Ms. Wertz, multiple agencies under the Department of Transportation have continuously misapplied this regulation.  It should only be used as a last resort.  



Ms. Cindy Briscoe, Administrative Officer II employed by the Department of Juvenile Services (DJS) received a one-day suspension for alleged acts of “poor job performance”. Ms. Briscoe contacted MCEA, Labor Relations Specialist, Michael Keeney who filed an appeal on her behalf. A hearing was held on March 19, 2013. at the DJS Headquarter Office. Management argued that Ms. Briscoe was deserving of the 1-day suspension because she failed to meet the goals of the department.

Mr. Keeney expertly fired back asserting that management’s goals were undoubtedly unclear, that DJS supervision did not properly communicate and document their directives with the employee and that management failed to abide by the Standards of Conduct and Disciplinary Process Policy. Keeney further moved that Ms. Briscoe was an excellent employee as evidenced by her evaluations and her willingness and ability to go beyond the call of duty. Keeney went on to add that Ms. Briscoe’s personnel file showed no past disciplinary actions or counseling memorandums. In his closing he stated that management’s actions were arbitrary, capricious and without merit therefore DJS management had failed to meet its burden of proof. DJS management agreed and rescinded the one-day suspension, restored Ms. Briscoe’s lost pay and benefits.

 Ms. Briscoe remarked that she is proud to be an MCEA member and is thankful for our professional representation. Thank you MCEA for setting the record straight.  


Student Life Counselors employed by the Maryland School for the Deaf (MSD), Frederick Campus were told not to report to work on March 5 and March 6, 2013 due to school closing in anticipation of forecasted snow and icy conditions. The employees were told that they must use their own leave in order to be paid for those two days or be charged with leave without pay. More than a handful of MCEA members called MCEA Labor Relations Specialist, Michael Keeney for assistance.

Mr. Keeney filed an instant grievance et. al proffering that the MSD was in violation of State regulations and law, specifically COMAR and State Personnel and Pensions Article 9-1104.Keeney provided compelling testimony as to where the agency violated the rights of these employees. Management agreed and restored the employees leave to their leave balance and provided the employees with two paid Administrative Leave Days to cover their absences.

On February 8, 2013, MCEA members contacted Labor Representative Stephen Yarbor concerning possible mold and mildew at 1900 N. Howard St., which houses Baltimore City Department of Social Services. Mr. Yarbor contacted personal from Baltimore City Department of Social Service and The Department of Human Resources.

Members of BCDSS Management met with the Owner/manager of the 1900 Howard Street facility regarding the reported mold, at 1900 N Howard Street on the carpet and crawling up the walls in suites 1101, 1102, and 1103. The landlord and Management confirmed that room 1101 had what they described to be mold on January 24, 2013 room was cleaned and the mold abated the evening of January 24, and 25 per the landlord. Also discussed was the reason for the growth;  A BCDSS  employee who occupied the space had a plant on the top of a file cabinet sitting next to a wall, it appears  moisture from the plant between the file cabinet and the wall created a prime area for growth.
Rooms 1102 and 1103 DSO received the first complaint on Jan. 4 about an odor within the room. Management requested the landlord to resolve the issue: the landlord had the carpet shampooed, also had an independent company come to do an air quality test, the landlord shared the results with BCDSS. 

BCDSS is continuing to work with the landlord to bring this issue to a resolution.  The employee has been requested to remove all chemical from offices, and pack all personal items. MCEA members are keeping vigilance and checking daily on this potential serious situation and MCEA will keep its members updated on any changes.

MCEA appreciates the relationships it has with Managements of The Baltimore City Department of Social Services and The Department of Human Resources in its swift endeavor to eradicate this potential health problem.  

 MCEA members are keeping vigilance and checking daily on this potential serious situation and MCEA will keep its members updated on any changes.

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