Office of Technical Complaints

TECHNICAL Review DECISION

 

 

In reTechnical Qualification Complaint

Date mailed

 

August 9, 2010

††††††††††† of

 

 

TAD 2010-085

Troy L. Zukowski

Ref. No. 2010-03743

 

 

 

Key Word(s)

Employment Sanction

Selection

 

Basis of Complaint and Relief Requested

The complainant is questioning the Civil Service staff decision to impose upon him an employment sanction at the request of his former employer, the Department of Human Services (DHS). The complainant is seeking, ďExpungement of the sanction against future employment with Michigan DHS.Ē

Background

On July 15, 2010, the Civil Service Commission (CSC) Office of Classifications, Selections, and Compensation (OCSC) received from the DHS Appointing Authority a request for an employment sanction. The DHS stated, in part:

The Michigan Department of Human Services would like to request that Mr. Troy Zukowskiís name be placed on the list of employment sanctions that is maintained by your agency. This request is based on C.S. Regulation 3.06, Employment Sanctions, 4, Standards, A, Employment Sanctions Authorized, 2.a, (5).

Mr. Zukowski was a Services Specialist in Calhoun County DHS with two disciplinary suspensions on his record at the time he engaged in additional misconduct in violation of Departmental Worker Rules. Specifically, worker rules pertaining to: Neglect of Duty, insubordination, failure to work ^2cooperatively and treat others with courtesy and respect and creating, contributing or failure to report unsafe working conditions. After the investigation was completed on the above listed misconduct, a decision was made to dismiss him from State service. Before Mr. Zukowski was provided a notice of the disciplinary conference, he submitted a letter of resignation. . . .

In a letter dated July 16, 2010, the CSC OCSC informed the complainant of the employment sanction, stating, in part:

. . . The Michigan Department of Human Services has reported that you resigned in lieu of dismissal from State service.

This letter is notification that you have been permanently sanctioned from employment in the Michigan Department of Human Services. Sanctions imposed by the Civil Service Commission may be appealed within 14 calendar days of the date of this letter through the technical complaint process . . .

On August 4, 2010, the CSC Office of Technical Complaints received the complainantís Technical Qualification Complaint.

Discussion

Chapter 9 of the CSC Rules defines the term Technical Complaint as follows:

Technical Complaint means a written complaint that a technical decision (1) violated article 11, section 5 of the Michigan Constitution; (2) violated a Civil Service rule or regulation; or (3) was arbitrary and capricious.

In addition, Civil Service Regulation 8.02, Technical Classification and Qualification Complaints, Standard A.2.c, states that a Technical Complaint must include:

A complete statement of why the technical decision (1) violated article 11, section 5 of the Michigan Constitution; (2) violated a Civil Service rule or regulation; or (3) was arbitrary and capricious.

To prevail in the Technical Complaint Process, the complainant must show that the OCSC technical decision fits one or more of these three bases for granting the relief he seeks. In this case, the complainant contends that the OCSC technical decision was arbitrary and capricious.

^3Based on a thorough review of the complainantís Technical Qualification Complaint, the complainantís appeal must be denied, for the following reasons:

        First, the complainantís Technical Complaint is untimely. CSC Rule 8-3.2, Time Limits, states, in part:

(b) Other technical complaints. A technical classification complaint, technical qualification complaint, or technical disbursement complaint must be filed within 14 calendar days after the date the civil service staff issued the original technical decision.

CSC Regulation 8.02, Technical Classification and Qualification Complaints, Standard A.3., states:

Time Limitations for Filing Technical Complaints. To be timely, the complaint must be received by Civil Service, Technical Complaints within 14 calendar days after the mailing date to the complainant of the technical decision.

The OCSCís July 16, 2010 letter specifically informed the complainant of the 14 day time limit. The complainantís Technical Complaint, therefore, was due in this office on or before July 30, 2010. The complainantís Technical Complaint is dated August 4, 2010, and was received on that date by the Office of Technical Complaints, making the complainantís submission untimely by five calendar days. CSC Regulation 8.06, Computing Time and Filing Documents, states, in part, that a document that is filed late in a Civil Service proceeding will not be accepted unless it is accompanied by a written explanation of the reasons for the late filing that establishes either good cause or special extenuating circumstances. A filing that is filed up to 28 calendar days cannot be accepted unless the filing party establishes good cause for the late filing. The complainant has provided no explanation for the untimely filing and, therefore, has not established good cause for the untimely filing.

        Second, the bulk of the complainantís Technical Qualification Complaint deals with his dissatisfaction with the actions of the DHS, which may be summed up by the complainantís statement that:

. . . I believe that the Calhoun County DHS, as well as the DHS
Labor-Management Relations Board, have arrived at inaccurate conclusions regarding their recommendations to you that I be sanctioned from ever working for Michigan DHS again.

However, the purpose of a Technical Qualification Complaint is not to evaluate the actions of the DHS. The purpose of a Technical Qualification Complaint is to review a technical decision made by CSC staff. Whether or not the charges made against the complainant by the DHS are valid is not specifically relevant in this forum. If the complainant sought to challenge the conclusions and decisions of the DHS, he ^4would have had the opportunity to do in the proper grievance forum had he remained employed by the DHS. The only issue before the Technical Review Officer (TRO), therefore, is whether the CSC staff decision to sanction the complainant was appropriate and consistent with CSC rules and regulations governing employment sanctions.

        Third, CSC Regulation 3.06, Employment Sanctions, Standard A., Employment Sanctions Authorized, states, in part, that Civil Service may impose an employment sanction on any of the following persons:

b. A person who engaged in conduct that could have resulted in dismissal for just cause but who resigned from the classified service before completion of disciplinary proceedings.

The DHS has indicated that as a result of their investigations, the decision had been made to dismiss the complainant from employment with the DHS.The complainant did resign from state service before the completion of disciplinary proceedings. Therefore, the OCSC technical decision to impose an employment sanction was appropriate and consistent with CSC Regulation 3.06

        Fourth, as noted above, to prevail in the Technical Complaint Process, the complainant must show that the OCSC technical decision violated article 11, section 5 of the Michigan Constitution; violated a Civil Service rule or regulations; or was arbitrary and capricious. The complainant contends that the action to sanction him was arbitrary and capricious. However, the decision of the OCSC to impose an employment sanction was consistent with CSC rules and regulations and, therefore, was neither arbitrary nor capricious.

        Fifth, the complainant states, in part:

A lifetime sanction from Michigan DHS would basically ďblackballĒ me from ANY future employment with the State of Michigan, along with many other public and private agencies in Michigan or other states, as well . . .

The employment sanction imposed pertains only to the DHS and does not preclude employment by any other state agency. The complainant may apply for and be considered for employment in any agency other than the DHS. The decision also has no direct effect upon the complainantís ability to seek employment with
non-state agencies or in other states.

For these reasons, the complainantís appeal must be denied.

^5Decision

The OCSC technical decision to impose an employment sanction on the complainant at the request of the DHS was appropriate and consistent with applicable CSC rules and regulations governing employment sanctions, and the complainant has not shown otherwise. Moreover, the complainant has not shown that the OCSC technical decision violated article 11, section 5 of the Michigan Constitution; violated a CSC rule or regulation; or was arbitrary and capricious. The requested relief, therefore, is denied.

/S/†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

Kenneth Melaragni, Technical Review Officer

Office of Technical Complaints

 

 

 

cc:

Judy Sieffert, Department of Human Services

 

This decision may be appealed if received by the Civil Service Commissionís Employment Relations Board within 28 calendar days of the mailing date on the face of this decision (September 7, 2010) as authorized in Civil Service Commission Rule 8-7, Appeal to Civil Service Commission.Instructions and form for filing an appeal, Civil Service Regulation 8.05, Employment Relations Board Appeal Procedures, and Regulation 8.06, Computing Time and Filing Documents, can be found at www.mi.gov/erb. You must serve a copy of the application for leave to appeal upon the adjudicating officer for the decision, Kenneth Melaragni, Technical Review Officer, Office of Technical Complaints, Capitol Commons Center, 400 South Pine Street, P.O. Box 30002, Lansing, MI 48909, and those persons copied on the decision.A proof of service on all the parties must be submitted to the Board with the application.Appeals and inquiries should be addressed to the Employment Relations Board, Michigan Civil Service Commission, Capitol Commons Center, 400 South Pine Street, P.O. Box 30002, Lansing, Michigan 48909; by telephone, at (517) 335-5588; by fax, at (517) 335‑2884; or by e‑mail to MCSC‑ERB@michigan.gov.

 

This is a publication of the Michigan Civil Service Commission. The written document, as published at the time it was issued, is the most authoritative source of the actual content and format of the decision.