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Fired Systems Engineer’s Grievance Fails

Deborah Elkins//January 12, 2016

Fired Systems Engineer’s Grievance Fails

Deborah Elkins//January 12, 2016//

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A systems engineer terminated by UVa Medical Center for multiple instances of failing to meet performance expectations and for insubordination cannot overturn his termination by challenging a hearing officer’s factual findings during his grievance procedure, which the Charlottesville Circuit Court is not authorized to review.

The hospital alleged the employee failed to complete a server installation and set-up for the Certegra workstations by the Oct. 13, 2014; he failed to keep the PACS0s system “up and running”; he was late for a fire system inspection test and failed to make sure all servers were back online after the test; and he was insubordinate because he refused to appear at a scheduled required meeting.

The employee challenges the hearing officer’s decision or failure of the UVa Medical Center to provide sufficient notice of the charge and evidence of his failure to complete the Certegra project by the Oct. 13, 2014, deadline. He is challenging the hearing officer’s interpretation of the terms of the task.

However, the purported error the employee is challenging is a factual and evidentiary matter. According to the grievance procedure set forth in Va. Code § 2.2-3005.1(C), the hearing officer for the grievance procedure is the fact finder for the proceeding. This court is bound by the factual findings of the hearing officer and does not revisit or review them. Since the employee presents an alleged error of fact that the court should not review, the court cannot reverse the hearing officer’s decision based on such alleged error.

On a second cited reason for his termination, the employee says no servers were affected by the incident and the hearing officer found that they were. His contentions with the findings of fact made by the hearing officer are not properly reviewable by this court and the court declines to reverse on that ground.

The employee also argues the evidence was insufficient to find him insubordinate.

He had the opportunity to seek review by the Department of Human Resources and he forfeited it. Because of the narrowly defined role of the court in these cases, this court finds the claims made in this grievance appeal are outside the scope of this court’s determination.

Martin v. University of Virginia Medical Center (Moore) No. CL 15-199, Dec. 18, 2015; Charlottesville Cir.Ct.; Wayne Martin, pro se; Alison Landry, UVa General Counsel Office. VLW 015-8-141, 5 pp.

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