Sergeant Charles Jenkins works for the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department as a property crimes supervisor. In February 2011, after investigating an internal complaint against him, the Department issued Jenkins a written reprimand for violating its harassment and discrimination policy. The reprimand, which Jenkins signed, did not mention a transfer to a new assignment. Nonetheless, the Department transferred Jenkins on the same day he signed the reprimand. The transfer notice, which was labeled as an “administrative transfer,” stated the following:

“As a result of it being determined that you engaged in inappropriate verbal communications with subordinates of a nature that violates the Department’s harassment and discrimination policies, I am recommending that you be transferred out of your current assignment. My recommendation is to transfer you to a patrol squad as it provides a more structured environment and closer supervision by your Lieutenant.”

Due to the transfer, Jenkins lost his position as a property crimes supervisor, a favorable work schedule and assignment differential pay of 8%. Jenkins filed a formal grievance regarding his transfer under the collective bargaining agreement between the Department and the Police Managers and Supervisors Association. The Department refused to accept the grievance, and the dispute ended up before the Nevada Supreme Court.

Based on its review of the CBA, the Court found that “when the Department uses a transfer for disciplinary purposes – with the intention of punishing the transferee – [the contract’s discipline and grievance procedure clauses] apply and require the Department to allow the grievance process. Thus, using administrative transfers for disciplinary purposes would constitute a unilateral change of provisions required to be bargained. We conclude the Department’s widespread use of administrative transfers for disciplinary purposes without engaging in the bargaining process violated the state bargaining law.”

The Department argued that the management rights section of the state bargaining statute empowered it to use an administrative transfer for disciplinary purposes. The Court disagreed, noting that it had “never construed this provision to empower a local government employer to unilaterally override a mandatorily bargained-for disciplinary procedure contained in a collective bargaining agreement, even when the statutory provision is expressly included in that agreement. Here, the CBA unequivocally provides the procedures for disciplinary disputes, which includes an employee’s right to file a grievance. We will not construe the state statute to empower a local government employer to unilaterally rewrite a provision that was mandatorily bargained for.”

Las Vegas Metropolitan Police v. Jenkins, 2015 WL 6508429 (Nev. 2015).

The above article has appeared in a previous issue of Public Safety Labor News and has been reprinted courtesy of Labor Relations Information System. These articles are for informational purposes only.

2 responses to “Disciplinary Transfer Held Subject to Grievance Procedure

Posted by Isaac Moyeni

I am government employee in SA. i was charge with misconduct (assault) and suspended for three month with full pay. Upon my completion of suspension my employer transfered me to another facility to work there pending disciplinary hearing. In the new facility i have worked 4 months pending actual day of disciplinary hearing. My new work place is 5km away from my residential area comparing to my last work place which is 10 km away from my residential area. The matter was settled out of formal sitting and sanction was I am subjected to one month suspension from work without pay and recommend permant transfer to the new facility. To my suprice I was informed later through writing that I permanently transferred to different facility which is plus minus 15km away from my residential area. This was done without my concern. I find it unfair additional victimisation please advice

Posted on May 20, 2017 at 6:19 AM

Posted by POAM

Isaac, please feel free to contact us here: //www.poam.net/contact-poam/

Posted on May 23, 2017 at 10:54 AM

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