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Joiner v. Public Employe Relations Board

August 27, 1973

JOINER, PETITIONER,
v.
PUBLIC EMPLOYE RELATIONS BOARD, RESPONDENT



Judicial Review of findings of fact and order of Public Employe Relations Board.

Robert L. Engle, Woodburn, argued the cause for petitioner. With him on the brief were Eichsteadt, Bolland & Engle, Woodburn.

Al J. Laue, Assistant Attorney General, Salem, argued the cause for respondent. With him on the brief were Lee Johnson, Attorney General, and John W. Osburn, Solicitor General, Salem.

Thornton, Judge. Schwab, Chief Judge, and Langtry, Judge.

Thornton

This is an appeal from an order of the Public Employe Relations Board (PERB) affirming petitioner's

suspension and dismissal by the State Department of Human Resources for alleged misconduct, insubordination, malfeasance and other unfitness. ORS 240.555.

Briefly stated, the evidence at the lengthy hearing was that in July 1970 petitioner was hired by the State Economic Opportunity Office of the Department of Human Resources as an assistant administrative analyst (classified service) in a federally-funded OEO program to assist low-income persons in drafting and securing passage of state laws designed to aid such persons. In the fall of 1971, petitioner, believing that she would improve her job skill by doing so, enrolled in the Willamette University College of Law in Salem for one semester, with the permission of her superiors and with the understanding on their part that she was enrolled for only two courses.

In January 1972 she enrolled for another semester. Shortly thereafter her superiors learned that she was, and had been, enrolled for a full schedule of law courses, and was attending such classes regularly during prescribed office working hours. Her superiors objected to this conduct, claiming that her absences during working hours were improper and interfering with her job performance. In the course of the ensuing discussion, petitioner informed her superiors that she had already paid her next semester's tuition and that she would lose her investment if she were not allowed to continue to attend classes. As a result her superiors relented, gave her permission to continue her law studies for one semester, but ordered that her pay and work schedules be reduced to part-time status to reflect the time spent away from her job. She continued on a part-time status until the end of the school

semester. She resumed a full-time status on May 8, 1972.

In August 1972 she told her immediate superior that she had no plans for the fall semester respecting law school, or she might attend one or two classes. Her superiors informed her that she would have to have written authorization for any further law school attendance during regular working hours. Notwithstanding, she proceeded to enroll in and attend law school as a full-time student commencing September 4, 1972, without the knowledge of her superiors, and without seeking or obtaining written permission.

On or about August 28, 1972, while her superior was away on vacation, petitioner placed on his desk a memo in which she stated that she intended to work from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., rather than the established 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. hours, due to the congestion on the bridge between her West Salem home and the office building where she worked. Her superior testified that he recalled an earlier oral ...


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