Tag Archives: employee

Cancer-stricken State Employee Charges Illegal Firing

A longtime state employee who has been diagnosed with cancer has filed suit charging that top officials in Gov. Bill Haslam’s administration illegally terminated him in violation of some of the same civil service laws and rules the governor is seeking to abolish, according to the Tennessean.
William B. Wood, 54, of Nashville has charged that he was terminated without cause or notice just six months before he would have become eligible for retirement health insurance. His suit, filed in Davidson County Chancery Court, states that Wood currently is unable to get coverage or treatment for his cancer.
The suit charges that Wood’s job, as an attorney and workers’ compensation specialist, was improperly classified as “executive service” and that he was improperly denied the right to challenge his dismissal. The suit comes as Haslam is seeking legislative approval for sweeping changes in the state’s civil service statutes, contending the 70-year-old system provides too much protection for hundreds of poorly performing public employees.

Knox Employees Get 3 Percent Raise

Knox County commissioners on Monday in a 10-0 vote agreed to give roughly 2,300 general government and Sheriff’s Office workers a 3 percent across-the-board salary increase, effective Jan. 1, reports the News Sentinel.
It will cost $1.58 million to cover the rest of the fiscal year, which ends June 30, and then create a $3 million recurring cost each year.
“I’m glad the commission agreed with us, and I feel they responded in a fiscally responsible manner and that’s what the public is demanding from its elected officials,” said County Mayor Tim Burchett, who initially floated the proposal to the commission more than a month ago after the county experienced an uptick in tax collections. “A 3 percent raise is appropriate and we can financially manage that amount and it’s fair to the employees.”

New Law Corrects ‘Injustice’ to One Retired State Employee

While Tennessee’s Constitution says that the Legislature has no power to enact a law for the benefit of a “particular individual,” Public Chapter 405 this year apparently did just that for an Oak Ridge man.
“This bill is to correct an injustice,” said state Rep. John Ragan, R-Oak Ridge, in his initial presentation of the proposed legislation, then known as HB719, to a House subcommittee.
A review of recordings during the legislative proceedings shows the constitutional provision came up for discussion, but lawmakers ultimately decided that it could be appropriately bypassed to the benefit of James D. Harless, 67.
The bill passed on the House and Senate floors unanimously on the last day of the 2011 legislative session and was signed by Gov. Bill Haslam on June 6.
As a result, Harless, who was never named during the legislative proceedings, says he is receiving “around $31,000,” the first $14,000 paid July 1 into his 401k shortly after his retirement as an employee of the Department of Environment and Conservation.
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