NASHVILLE, TN. – The Tennessee State Employees Association (TSEA) has filed a class action lawsuit in the Circuit Court of Davidson County against the State of Tennessee charging that the state violated Tennessee law by failing to give the legally required 60-day notice to hundreds of state employees being laid off before the end of this month. On May 9th 2013, only days after lay-off notices were sent out, the state shut down its NeoGov job-posting site. By doing so, hundreds of laid-off state employees were deprived their right to 60 days of career counseling, job placement and job testing.
TSEA Executive Director Robert O’Connell said, “An intention of the 60-day notice was to provide laid-off state employees assistance finding other work, including work within state government. When the State shut down their NeoGov job-posting site on May 9th, they made these things unavailable to all those employees who had only gotten through the first one-third of their notice period.”
The Association’s Complaint seeks a proper 60-day notice, as provided by law, for any state employee who received a layoff notice on or around April 19th, 2013. The lawsuit contends that the state shut down its NeoGov job posting website portal on May 9th and posted a notice that states, “job postings are suspended until June 19th, 2013.” TSEA asserts the 60-day notice provision of the Tennessee Excellence, Accountability and Management (TEAM) Act – Tenn. Code Ann. § 8-30-314 – was included by the legislature for the state to provide career counseling, job placement and job testing for laid-off state employees, therefore only the first 20 days of the 60-day notice issued to state employees on April 19th can be counted as effective notice.
Late yesterday afternoon, Circuit Court Judge Amanda McClendon issued a temporary restraining order (TRO), ordering the state not to dismiss any state employees in a layoff “until and unless said employees have received at least 60 days of notice during which a list and notice of open and available state jobs have been accessible by said employees” for job placement. The TRO will remain in effect at least until the June 17th, 2013 hearing on TSEA’s request for a temporary injunction.
TSEA is a nonprofit association existing to provide a strong unified voice with which it advocates the work-related interests of members. The attainment of association objectives will ensure a better life for our members and will attract and retain an effective, efficient state workforce to provide services for all Tennesseans. TSEA was established in 1974. For further information, visit the Web site at www.tseaonline.org