The thoughts of a writer.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Hennepin County, Still Questionable

In 2003, I left Hennepin County as an Office Specialist III on an early retirement buyout incentive. They were trying to reduce staff. The documents I signed said I could not return as an OSIII; though other positions would be open to me. Now in 2014, I applied for a job at Hennepin County as a Communications Coordinator. I was told that I was not eligible due to the early retirement buyout. I informed the HR rep that this was incorrect and she later emailed me that I was right and all jobs except OSIII were open to me. Shortly after, another email (with the you are correct part now gone) said they had changed the rules and I was now not eligible for employment due to the buyout. I asked for, but they could not supply anything I signed agreeing to this (because such a document does not exist). Later, they were able to supply a contract that actually supported my position. Still, they did not concede that I was right and also eligible.

I kept after them. They would try to stall and ignore and I would persist. I pointed out to them that their own contract that they drafted said I could return as anything except an OSIII. They stalled and said it was being reviewed. So I asked if the job opening was going to be held open during that time (because I know that trick). Finally, they went the logical route (a big step forward for them!) They said that while I met the minimum qualifications for the job I applied for, I was not in the "top group" and provided the reasoning. So I don't get the job, but they could not exclude me for the reason of my previous early retirement buyout. It was so easy! I mean they really took the long way around but I let them know that we had at least settled this issue if I ever apply again.... yeah sure... So I may have "lost" on that job, but I won on principle! I feel good about that. Somebody's got to keep Hennepin County honest—and man from what I saw in two separate divisions while working there, they've got a long way to go before they are truly honest!

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