DALE EDWARD SEEVER, Complainant
CATHOLIC CHARITIES BUREAU, INC., Respondent
An Administrative Law Judge for the Equal Rights Division of the Department of Industry, Labor and Human Relations issued a decision in the above-captioned matter on May 31, 1990. Complainant filed a timely petition for review by the Commission.
Based upon a review of the record in its entirety, the Labor and Industry Review Commission issues the following:
The decision of the Administrative Law Judge is modified as follows:
1. Delete the first paragraph of the FINDINGS OF FACT and substitute therefor the following:
"1. Respondent Catholic Charities Bureau, Inc., is a private social service organization that operates a number of programs, among which is Birchview Group Home. Complainant Dale Edward Seever ("Seever") was employed by Respondent for over eight years as the resident manager of the Birchview Group Home."
2. Add the following to paragraph 2 of the FINDINGS OF FACT:
"After that time his performance began to deteriorate."
3. Delete the third sentence of paragraph 8 of the FINDINGS OF FACT and substitute therefor the following:
"Rifles and loose cartridges were scattered around the apartment; Bilden had not been aware that Seever kept rifles and ammunition in his apartment, and had he known, he would not have allowed it."
4. Delete paragraph 9 of the FINDINGS OF FACT and substitute therefor the following:
"9. On June 20, 1988, Bilden terminated Seever's employment. Seever's arrest was not a factor in Bilden's decision to terminate him. Seever was terminated because of Bilden's discovery that Seever was improperly taking care of client files, was leaving rifles and ammunition scattered around his apartment, was failing to properly cash and account for checks he received from guardians of group home residents intended for the benefit of the residents, was improperly storing food items in his apartment, and was in these and other respects failing to perform his responsibilities as resident manager up to Bilden's standards."
As modified, the decision of the Administrative Law Judge (copy attached) is affirmed and shall stand as the FINAL ORDER herein.
Dated and mailed September 20, 1990
/s/ Kevin C. Potter, Chairman
/s/ Carl W. Thompson, Commissioner
/s/ Pamela I. Anderson, Commissioner
In his petition for review, the Complainant argues that he was a long-term employe against whom there had been no previous complaints, and that he was "fortuitously" terminated along with his arrest for drug use. Complainant urges that this establishes probable cause to believe that he was unlawfully terminated because of arrest. The Commission disagrees. First, it is not true that there had been no complaints about the Complainant's performance prior to his arrest; the evidence established that the Complainant's performance was becoming a problem and that he had in fact been urged to take some time off in order to deal with personal problems that were affecting his work. Also, it is quite clear that the decision to terminate Seever was taken because of Bilden's discovery of the condition of his apartment, which was unsatisfactory in a number of respects: poor methods of maintenance of the group home's files and deficiencies in the handling of checks for residents, the presence of dangerous instrumentalities (rifles and ammunition), and a general state of disarray which was incompatible with the Complainant's responsibility to function as a mature model for the residents of the home. Because this was quite clearly the motivation for the termination of the Complainant, and not his arrest, there is no probable cause to believe that discrimination occurred.
NOTE: The Commission had no disagreement with the material findings of fact of the Administrative Law Judge, and has modified his decision merely in order to set forth more fully the basis on which the Commission decided to affirm the result.
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