Nebraska Supreme Court to hear arguments on HHS’s change to dress code
LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – Members of the Nebraska Association of Public Employees will present arguments to the state’s Supreme Court on Wednesday in a dispute that has lasted almost three years.
The union says its members’ labor contract was violated when the Department of Health and Human Services changed its employee dress code.
In December 2019, the department banned denim jeans from Mondays through Thursdays and made other changes to the dress code.
Over 200 union members filed grievances alleging that the department violated the contract.
The members say they were not given proper notice or the chance to negotiate. The union said the matter is a “mandatory subject of bargaining.”
In February 2020, the union won in arbitration. Later that year, the department filed a lawsuit, but the Lancaster County District Court upheld the arbitrator’s decision.
The department appealed the ruling to the Supreme Court.
Arguments will be heard in the auditorium at Nebraska City High School.
“This case is no longer about jeans, but rather about the state’s duty to negotiate over mandatory subjects of bargaining and to abide by arbitration decisions,” Executive Director Justin Hubly said in a press release. “Our members will never hesitate to defend their rights, even if the case goes all the way to the Supreme Court. It’s disappointing, and frankly a waste of taxpayer dollars, for DHHS to continue this litigation.”