Penalty

In General  

Termination appropriate where supervisor’s acquisition of free equipment replacements in violation of agency’s contract with vendor damaged agency’s relationship with vendor, her actions placed a subordinate’s career in jeopardy, and supervisor failed to take any responsibility for her actions. In re Roybal, 60-11, 10 (3/13/12).

 

Termination appropriate despite appellant’s exemplary past performance where the severity of her violations and failure to acknowledge any wrongdoing did not require the agency to assess a lesser penalty.   In re Roybal, 60-11, 10-11 (3/13/12). 

 

Agency is not required to retain appellant - whose duties include testifying in court and who was terminated after her shoplifting charge - based on her speculation that the Colorado Supreme Court could overturn its own decision to allow impeachment of a witness who was charged with shoplifting. In re [Redacted] CSB 57-11A (12/20/12), citing People v. Segovia, 196 P.3d 1126 (Colo. 2008

Where aggravating factors relied upon by agency in dismissing appellant were not supported by evidence at hearing, hearing officer’s decision to modify dismissal to substantial suspension was reasonably related to totality of the proven factual circumstances. In re Weeks, CSB 26-09 A. (12/23/10), reversed, City and County of Denver v. Weeks, 2010 CV 545 (6/21/10).

A hearing officer is not to disturb the Agency’s determination of the severity of the discipline unless it is clearly excessive or based substantially on considerations which are not supported by a preponderance of the evidence. In re Weeks, CSB 26-09A. (12/23/10), citing In re Vigil, CSA 110-05 (3/3/06), reversed on other grounds, City and County of Denver v. Weeks, 2010 CV 545 (6/21/10). 

In the case of a termination, the deciding official must determine that no lesser discipline would "achieve the desired behavior or performance." CSR § 16-20.   In re Morgan, CSA 63-08, 18 (4/6/09).

The agency bears the burden to prove that the imposition of discipline was appropriate under the career service rules, and that the level imposed was within the range that could be issued by a reasonable administrator.   In re Morgan, CSA 63-08, 9 (4/6/09).

Agency's prior discipline, when considered as part of the same series of current offenses, impermissibly subjects appellant to double discipline for such prior acts.   In re Morgan, CSA 63-08, 18 (4/6/09).

The corrective purpose of discipline is fulfilled when an agency tailors the penalty to the nature and circumstances of the misconduct and the employee’s past disciplinary history.  In re Rogers, CSA 57-07, 7 (3/18/08).
 
An employee’s steadfast refusal to acknowledge a need for improvement despite numerous mistakes and an extensive disciplinary history has been held to justify dismissal.  In re Rogers, CSA 57-07, 7 (3/18/08), citing In re Diaz, CSA 72-06, 3 (CSB 9/20/07). 

Agency’s termination of a deputy sheriff who continues to deny wrongdoing in the face of strong evidence to the contrary has been upheld.  In re Rogers, CSA 57-07, 7-8 (3/18/08), citing In re Simpleman, CSA 31-06, 10-11 (10/20/06), affirmed CSB 8/2/07.

Employee’s failure to correct behavior after previous discipline may be considered in determining the appropriate penalty for later offenses.  In re Feltes, CSA 50-06, 7 (11/24/06).  

Hearing officer will not disturb an agency’s disciplinary determination unless it is clearly excessive or based substantially on considerations that are not supported by a preponderance of evidence.  In re Delmonico, CSA 53-06, 8 (10/26/06).   

An order requiring remedial training is not a disciplinary action as defined in the Career Service Rules.  In re Johnson, CSA 135-05, 3 (3/10/06) (decided under former §16-20). 

Career Service Rules require progressive discipline to correct inappropriate behavior or performance.  In re Diaz, CSA 92-05, 10 (1/31/06) (decided under former §16-10).

Discipline must be reasonably related to the seriousness of the offense, and appropriate to correct the situation and achieve the desired change in behavior or performance.  In re Diaz, CSA 92-05, 10 (1/31/06) (decided under former §16-10).

In determining whether the discipline is within the range of reasonable alternatives available to a reasonable, prudent administrator, the hearing officer will not disturb the agency’s determination of the severity of discipline unless it is clearly excessive based substantially on considerations that are not supported by a preponderance of the evidence.  In re Garcia, CSA 175-04, 8 (7/12/05), citing In re Armbruster, CSA 377-01 (3/22/02).

Past discipline that is not reversed on appeal is presumed valid. In re Garcia, CSA 175-04, 8 (7/12/05).
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Penalty Upheld 

Termination appropriate where appellant snow plow driver who worked with minimal supervision: failed to plow assigned route; was dishonest about it; falsified the account of his accident;  and supervisors consequently lost trust in him.  In re Gomez, CSA 02-12, 8 (5/14/12). 

Termination justified where Appellant’s dishonesty, failure to acknowledge any wrongdoing, and agency’s loss of trust in appellant’s ability to complete his minimal-oversight duties overshadowed his good disciplinary record.  In re Gomez, CSA 02-12, 8 (5/14/12). 

Where agency terminated Appellant snow plow driver for two reasons: his dishonesty about plowing his route and his dishonesty about his traffic accident, the traffic accident, alone, justified termination. In re Gomez, CSA 02-12, 8 (5/14/12).

Termination proper, despite no prior discipline, where appellant's intentional absence for 21 Saturdays, and refusal to work future Saturdays, had significant impact on the agency, including overtime, loss of morale, disruption of the established schedule, and scheduling other employees in disregard of their seniority.   In re Morgan, CSA 63-08, 18 (4/6/09).

Three-day suspension for two unauthorized absences affirmed where agency policies for absenteeism were violated, policy provided for discipline for two absences in a year, appellant was disciplined for same reason previously, and appellant's absences created hardship on co-workers and agency.   In re Turner, CSA 76-08, 8 (1/16/09).
 
A 2-day suspension is not excessive where appellant's behavior had not improved after previous suspension for insults and threats and a warning in a recent PIP about negative interactions, and there are recurring attendance issues and repeated corrective measures.  In re Williams, CSA 53-08, 6 (12/19/08).  

45-day suspension of deputy sheriff was sustained for slapping fellow officer hard on the buttocks and dishonesty during investigation where appellant had prior violation for dishonesty, a core directive of the agency.  In re Rogers, CSA 57-07, 8 (3/18/08).

Where agency established prosecutor violated good order and effectiveness of the agency by knowingly facilitating prosecutor-shopping after warning and failing to correct an inaccurate statement to his manager, three-day suspension was not excessive.  In re Stone, CSA 70-07, 12 (2/25/08).   

Where contract administrator’s job and communication plan required him to inform his supervisor of the status of ongoing projects, but he continued to believe his actions were impliedly authorized and that he did not violate the plan despite evidence supporting a contrary conclusion, three-day suspension was necessary to emphasize that communication with management was of vital importance to his job. In re Hill, CSA 69-07, 7 (1/23/08)

Where recreation supervisor endangered a vulnerable minor employee by drinking alcohol with her in closed recreation center on three occasions, and was dishonest during investigation, termination without progressive discipline was warranted.  In re Rivas, CSA 49-07, 14 (1/9/08).

30-day suspension was not excessive for engaging in fight with co-worker, despite lesser discipline for co-worker, when appellant escalated an incident involving teasing into a physical confrontation resulting in injuries to co-worker.  In re Delmonico, CSA 53-06, 8 (10/26/06).   

Termination of deputy sheriff with long history of discipline who continued to deny wrongdoing was reasonable under rule.  In re Simpleman, CSA 31-06, 10-11 (10/20/06), affirmed CSB 8/2/07.

30-day suspension was appropriate for employee who asked for special treatment based on his position as deputy sheriff when arrested while off duty at a bowling alley for incident arising from failing to pay for beer.  In re Mergl, CSA 131-05, 9 (3/13/06) (decided under former §16-10).

Appellant was not punished twice for the same absences because of regulation’s imposition of increasing punishment for each additional unscheduled absence after eight occurrences in a year. In re Garcia, CSA 123-05, 6 (2/27/06).

Five-day suspension calculated based upon appellant’s absences over the agency average was within the range of penalties that may be applied by a reasonable manager.  In re Garcia, CSA 123-05, 6 (2/27/06).     

Five-day suspension was appropriate for unauthorized absences after employee received ample notice of the seriousness of her absenteeism in the form of stricter attendance expectations, and had been previously disciplined for same misconduct.  In re Edwards, CSA 21-05, 8 (2/22/06).

Two-week suspension was appropriate when previous shorter suspension did not correct similar past behavior and performance deficiencies.  In re Diaz, CSA 92-05, 11 (1/31/06) (decided under former §16-10).

Three-day suspension was well within range of reasonable alternatives available to agency where appellant/zookeeper allowed dangerous animals into close proximity, a violation of an important duty of his position. In aggravation, appellant failed to acknowledge responsibility for the misconduct, and had been recently disciplined for similar conduct. In re Owoeye, CSA 11-05, 8 (6/10/05).
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Penalty Modified
 
Where appellant's three violations were minor but occurred within two days, indicating a pattern, and appellant's work record was exemplary, while on the other hand, agencies are entitled to set and enforce their work rules, 20-day suspension is appropriately reduced to five days.  In re Compos et al, 56-08, 21 (12/15/08).

30-day suspension was modified to 90-day suspension where CSB determined that supervisor who showed high school intern pornography on city computer violated not only agency internet policy but also failed to maintain satisfactory work relationships, a second violation of that rule.  In re Strasser, CSA 44-07, 3 (CSB 2/29/08).
 
Penalty Reversed
 
Where agency failed to prove appellant violated any career service rule, his 20-day suspension must be reversed.  In re Compos et al, 56-08, 21 (12/15/08).
 
5-day suspension for taking emergency restroom break was reversed when agency failed to prove appellant violated any rule cited in disciplinary letter. In re Dessureau, CSA 59-07, 9-10 (1/16/08).
 
Half-hour of unauthorized leave imposed as discipline for a ten-minute restroom break was reversed when agency failed to prove appellant's actions violated any disciplinary rule. In re Dessureau, CSA 59-07, 9-10 (1/16/08).
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