LOS ANGELES – A probationary California Department of Insurance investigator is returning to full duty this month, following a Skelly hearing officer’s decision to revoke her Rejection During Probation.
“Being a trainee is hard enough for new investigators but when the process is unfair or unjustified, an employee can quickly find herself without a job,” said California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) Senior Counsel Jim Vitko. “That was the case with a probationary Department of Insurance investigator in Southern California last week. Luckily, she had the benefit of CSLEA membership to fall back on and I was able to successfully assist her.”
After meeting with the investigator, CSLEA attorneys determined that the rejection materials used in this case were incomplete and raised questions as to the reasons for rejection. Attorney Vitko quickly requested a “Skelly” hearing. A "Skelly" hearing must be provided to an employee prior to the imposition of discipline or in this case a Rejection During Probation.
During the June 28, 2018 hearing, Vitko presented information that the action taken by the department was unjustified or was based on reasons unrelated to merit. The "Skelly" officer who has the authority to sustain, modify or revoke the department’s action decided the following day to revoke the Rejection During Probation and return the investigator to full duty. The department is to be commended for recognizing the problems with the rejection case and doing the right thing to rectify the action.
“Having CSLEA attorneys on your side is not only an important benefit of CSLEA membership, it’s job insurance,” said CSLEA President Alan Barcelona. “It’s our duty to keep members working and to keep them working in a positive and safe environment. Our attorneys know the contract and know what managers and departments can and cannot do. Thanks to CSLEA Senior Counsel Jim Vitko, this investigator has her job back!”