UPEA Committee Helps DHRM Improve Rules

An employee who transfers from one state agency to another will not have to complete a second probationary period as long as there is no lapse in service from one position to the next under a new rule approved by the Department of Human Resource Management (DHRM).

The new rule, R477-5-2. for the 2018 fiscal year resulted from a meeting between DHRM andthe UPEA Human Resource Policy and Rules Committee.  UPEA staff members Christy Cushing and Kamarie Nicdao met June 8 with Bob Thomas, DHRM labor relations director DHRM HR Specialist Bryan Embley to review DHRM rule changes.

UPEA and DHRM also agreed to add a surviving spouse to R477-7-6, Sick Leave Retirement Benefit. New language in the rule ensures that both employees and their spouses are more aware that they are entitled to access this benefit if  an eligible employee passes away while still employed. Under R477-7-6(5)(B)(vii), in the event an employee is killed in the line of duty, this benefit allows the employees’ spouse to be eligible to use the employees’ available sick leave hours for the purchase of health and dental insurance under Section 67-19-14.3.

The only DHRM rule change UPEA disagreed with was R477-8-17(3), Temporary Transitional Assignment (TTA). DHRM wanted to add language that stated, “time spent on a temporary transitional assignment may be counted as leave for purposes of 477-7-1(9),” where the employee may be separated from employment regardless of paid leave status unless prohibited by state or federal law after four months cumulative leave in a 24 month period.

However UPEA opposed this language because an agency may place an employee on TTA when he or she is under investigation, on corrective or disciplinary action. UPEA believes that because an employee doesn’t volunteer to be placed in TTA under these circumstances, that time should not be counted toward the four months of cumulative leave use in R477-7-1(9).

Thompson acknowledged that UPEA’s concerns are valid. He agreed to exclude time spent an employee is under investigation, on corrective action, or being disciplined.

UPEA members can voluntarily join the committee or give suggestions on human resource rules by contacting their UPEA staff representative. If you would like to attend the next committee meeting, it will be held on Thursday, September 14th at 6:00pm at the UPEA office.

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