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Marquez v. Kansas Department of Corrections

Court of Appeals of Kansas

August 29, 2014

TONY MARQUEZ, Appellant,
v.
KANSAS DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, Appellee

Modified Opinion Filed October 3, 2014.

Appeal from Shawnee District Court; REBECCA W. CROTTY, judge.

SYLLABUS

BY THE COURT

1. How permanent State employees may be dismissed, demoted, or suspended for work deficiencies due to incompetence or negligence is set out in the Kansas Civil Service Act, K.S.A. 75-2925 et seq.

2. K.S.A. 75-2949e(b) permits an appointing authority to dismiss, demote, or suspend a permanent state employee for deficient work performance after the employee has received two performance evaluations in the 180 days preceding the proposed discipline and the evaluations were spaced at least 30 days apart.

3. If the appointing authority wants to dismiss, demote, or suspend a permanent state employee for deficient work performance without two evaluations, K.S.A. 75-2949e(c) provides that in the event of an appeal to the Civil Service Board by the employee, the Board must require the appointing authority to show that the employee was adequately counseled on the nature of any work deficiencies and what was expected of the employee in correcting the deficiencies.

Morgan L. Roach and Nicholas S. Ruble, of McCauley & Roach, LLC, of Kansas City, Missouri, for appellant.

Linden G. Appel, chief legal counsel, of Kansas Department of Corrections, for appellee.

Before ATCHESON, P.J., HILL and ARNOLD-BURGER, JJ.

OPINION

Page 931

Hill, J.:

Parole officer Tony Marquez appeals his 10-day suspension from his job with the Kansas Department of Corrections. As a classified state employee, Marquez is subject to the rules of the Kansas Civil Service Act, K.S.A. 75-2925 et seq. If classified employees appeal their suspensions to the Civil Service Board, the [50 Kan.App.2d 984] Act requires the appointing authority to show that these employees were adequately counseled on the nature of their work deficiencies unless they had received two prior work evaluations at least a month apart before any suspension. Marquez had not received two unsatisfactory evaluations, and he appealed his suspension to the Civil Service Board. Because the Board failed to require the appointing authority to show that Marquez had been adequately counseled on his work deficiencies before imposing a 10-day suspension, we must reverse his suspension. Accordingly, we reverse the district court's order approving Marquez' suspension.

Marquez learns of his job suspension.

Marquez has worked as a parole officer with the Kansas Department of Corrections for 21 years. He is a permanent employee in the classified service as set out in the Kansas Civil Service Act. In 2010, inmate Wyatt Parnell was released on parole and Marquez was assigned as his parole officer. Parnell was considered a moderate risk offender and was required to meet with Marquez at least once a month. In addition to the ...


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