700 Laid-Off Workers Sue Arizona

     PHOENIX (CN) – Arizona violated its own rules by firing employees without five days notice and without offering a voluntary separation program, a class action claims in Maricopa County Court. The Service Employees International Union Local 5 Arizona and its members want the state enjoined “from terminating their employment in violation of their rights.”




     The Arizona Administrative Code sets forth termination procedures including “the use of a ‘retention point’ system to determine the order of terminations … with points based on an employee’s performance evaluation and length of service,” five-day notice of termination, the ability to request a termination review before it becomes official, and “the offer of a voluntary separation agreement,” according to the union.
     Plaintiffs were or will be fired in a force reduction, effective on the day they receive notice, the union says. They were not offered a voluntary separation program and one plaintiff never received a response from the Department of Administration after requesting a review of her termination, according to the lawsuit.
     SEIU Local 5 Arizona represents 5,000 state employees. It claims that more than 700 state employees will be fired as part of the force reduction.
     The union and eight named plaintiffs are represented by SEIU attorney Gene B. Mechanic and Nicholas J. Enoch with Lubin & Enoch.

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