WEST VIRGINIA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH
AND HUMAN RESOURCES/OFFICE OF ACCOUNTS
PAYABLE and DIVISION OF PERSONNEL,
Grievant, Elizabeth Webb, filed this grievance against her employer, the West
Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR), and the Division of
Personnel (DOP), on July 16, 2002:
Ex. 1 -
Ex. 1 -
Grievant testified in her own behalf, and presented the testimony of Warren D.
Keefer. Respondents presented the testimony of Lowell D. Basford.
Based upon a review of the record in its entirety, I find the following facts have been established by a preponderance of the evidence.
Nature of Work
Under general supervision, performs administrative work in providing support services such
as fiscal, personnel, payroll or procurement in a small division or equivalent organization
level. May function in an assist role or in a specialized capacity in a large agency or
department. Develops or assists in developing and implements plans/procedures for
resolving operational problems and in improving administrative services. Work is typically
varied and includes inter- and intra-governmental and public contact. Performs related
work as required.
Positions in this class are distinguished from the Administrative Services Assistant 2 by thesize of the unit served and by the independence of action granted. Positions in a small
agency or division may be responsible for a significant administrative component; other
positions assist an administrative supervisor in a large state agency. Authority to vary work
methods or policy applications or to commit the agency to alternative course of action is
Examples of Work
Confers with inter- and intra-agency personnel to transact business, gather information, or
discuss information; may be in a position with public or federal government contact.
Gathers and compiles information for state records; writes reports, balances tally sheets,
and monitors inventories, purchases, and sales.
Updates records and contacts employees to gather information; represents the supervisor
or unit in the area of assignment at in-house meetings.
Maintains files of information in hard copy files or electronic format; runs reports for regular
or intermittent review.
Assists in determining the need for changes in procedures, guidelines and formats; devises
a solution; monitors the success of solutions by devising quantitative/qualitative measures
to document the improvement of services.
Assists in the writing of manuals in the area of assignment; clarifies the wording and
describes new procedures accurately.
Nature of Work
Under limited supervision, performs administrative and supervisory work in providing
support services such as fiscal, personnel, payroll or procurement in a state agency or
facility or serves as the assistant supervisor in a major administrative support unit of a large
state agency. Develops policies and procedures for resolving operational problems and
for improving administrative services. Supervises the work of office support staff in
rendering required services. Work is typically varied and includes extensive inter- and intra
governmental and public contact. Has some authority to vary work methods and policy
applications and to commit the agency to alternative course of action. Performs related
work as required.
Positions in this class are distinguished from the Administrative Services Assistant 1 by the
supervisory nature of the work performed, by the size of the unit served and by the
independence of action granted. Positions in this class are responsible for a significant
administrative component in a medium size agency or state facility or serves as an
Assistant Director of a major administrative support component of a large state agency.
Authority to vary work methods and to commit the agency to alternative course of action
Examples of Work Confers with inter- and intra-agency personnel to transact business, gather information, or discuss information; may be in a position with public or federal government contact. Conducts performance surveys and reviews agency methods of operation; devises flowcharts and graphs; may conduct cost analysis studies. Gathers and compiles information for state records; writes reports, balances tally sheets, and monitors inventories, purchases, and sales. Updates records and contacts employees to gather information; represents the agency in the area of assignment in both internal and external meetings. Maintains files of information in hard copy files or electronic format; runs reports for regular or intermittent review. Determines the need for changes in procedures, guidelines and formats; devises a solution; monitors the success of solutions by devising quantitative/qualitative measures to document the improvement of services. Writes manuals in the area of assignment; clarifies the wording and describes new procedures accurately. Supervises the work of Office Assistants, Accounting Assistants or other support staff.
Nature of Work
Under general direction, performs complex administrative and/or supervisory work in
providing support services such as fiscal, personnel, payroll or procurement on a statewide
basis or serves in a specialty role of a complex support program with extensive federal
oversight. Responsible for the development and implementation of policies and
procedures for the work unit; for the monitoring and evaluation of the specialized functional
area. Works within general statute and regulatory parameters, but has considerable
latitude to vary work methods, policy applications to achieve desired results. The work
includes supervision of subordinate professional, technical or office support staff. The
work is typically complex, varied and requires considerable interaction with local, state and
federal agencies and the general public. Performs related work as required.
Positions in this class are distinguished from the Administrative Services Assistant 2 by the
responsibility for unit operation and results obtained. Positions in this class are typically
responsible for a complex, statewide administrative support program or function in a
specialized role of considerable difficulty and complexity involving sensitive and
controversial issues and the lack of standard procedures and/or precedent for
programmatic guidance. Has considerable authority to vary work methods and may be
assigned responsibility to commit the agency to alternative courses of action.
Examples of Work
Develops technical procedures for the effective implementation of the work of the unit, to
include forms, operating procedures, and proposed policies; confers with unit management
and other staff regarding revisions to budgetary, purchasing, and other administrative
services, policies, and procedures.
Develops operating manuals necessary for the instruction and training of unit staff, agency
officials, and other state officials; conducts periodic training sessions for new initiatives and
procedures in the area of responsibility.
Analyzes the budget document and appropriate enabling legislation to determine the need
for revised operational procedures for the budgetary cycle.
Prepares or supervises the preparation of required fiscal and budgetary reports in the area
Monitors the expenditures of state agencies and higher education systems to ensure
compliance with budgeted appropriations; confers with state officials and budget specialists
in the resolution of expenditure level problems; advises on the transfer and reallocation of
funds to resolve such problems; briefs management on potential areas of appropriation
Prepares or assists in the appropriation of grant proposals and budgetary
recommendations for the agency; monitors the execution of appropriations throughout the
Develops procedures, forms, and controls necessary for the effective operation of the unit.
Within State Purchasing Rules and Regulations, examines purchasing requests for
conformity to specifications and budgeted amounts; may negotiate contracts and
agreements for the procurement of equipment, supplies and services.
Supervises other professional, technical and clerical employees in the unit.
Although the positions are similar in some respects, the Distinguishing Characteristics differentiate them. The Administrative Services Assistant I is distinguished from the 2 by the size of the unit served and by the independence of action granted. Conversely, the 3 is distinguished from the 2 by the responsibility for unit operation and results obtained.
Warren Keefer, Director for the Office of Accounting, testified that the Administrative Services Assistant 3 position was the best fit for Grievant because she performs comparable duties to the other two employees in the Office of Accounts Payable who were recently reclassified as 3s from a Supervisor II classification. As Grievant's supervisor, Mr.Keefer also noted that he believes Grievant performs job duties that are more varied and complex in nature than the two employees classified as 3s.
Mr. Keefer testified Grievant does record retention, FOIA requests, coordinates financial web activities for the entire financial section, publishes and maintains a web site, performs special projects, does purchasing for the entire operation, does grant management work, and a multitude of other tasks. Grievant supervises Office Assistants and later acquired supervisory responsibility over an Accounting Technician. She took the lead role, at his request, in developing their policies and procedures, she established training for financial staff on various subjects, develops curriculum, does actual training, and does travel accounting and reporting. He testified Grievant works independently, and only comes to him with situations that will affect the state or department as a whole.
Grievant testified her duties have expanded and become more complex since she was reallocated to Administrative Services Assistant I. Moreover, two other employees were reclassified to Administrative Services Assistants 3s, and she knew then that she was incorrectly classified as a I, because she performs similar job duties.
Mr. Basford testified the Administrative Services Assistant I position is the best fit for Grievant because the predominant amount of her duties has not changed since the time she was reallocated from a Secretary II in May 2001. Furthermore, Mr. Basford stated Grievant's supervisory element has not changed since her reallocation in 2001.
Mr. Basford testified about the two employees who were reallocated to the 3 position on the same day Grievant was denied her reallocation request. He distinguished their job duties from Grievant's based on their level of supervision of Accounting Technician staff within the Office of Accounts Payable. Mr. Basford compared Grievant's January 2002 position description form with the one she submitted in March 2001, and pointed out they were almost verbatim. Mr. Basford also reviewed the Additional Duties statement Grievant provided, and concluded there had been no significant change in her duties and responsibilities. Ms. Basford testified the Administrative Services Assistant 3 classification provides advanced level administrative support in a complex, difficult, and non-standard work situation. He testified Grievant's work is routine, and the work of the Office Assistants she supervises is structured and repetitive. Finally, Mr. Basford noted that, even if Grievant's duties are expanding, it is a case of more of the same duties, as opposed to the addition of different duties, which does not render her misclassified. Kuntz v. Dept. of Health and Human Resources, Docket No. 96-HHR-301 (Mar. 26, 1997).
The incremental changes in Grievant's job duties as evident in her two position description forms are not significant enough to justify her reallocation to either an Administrative Services Assistant 2 or 3. Despite the fact Grievant's job duties are similar to that of her two co-workers, Blankenship and subsequent cases have placed a difficult burden for the grievant to overcome in a classification case. A review of the class specifications reveals that Mr. Basford's interpretation that Grievant is properly classified is not arbitrary and capricious, nor is it clearly wrong.
Accordingly, this grievance is DENIED.
Any party or the West Virginia Division of Personnel may appeal this decision to the Circuit Court of Kanawha County or to the circuit court of the county in which the grievance occurred. Any such appeal must be filed within thirty (30) days of receipt of this decision. W. Va. Code §29-6A-7 (1998). Neither the West Virginia Education and State Employees Grievance Board nor any of its Administrative Law Judges is a party to such appeal, and should not be so named. However, the appealing party is required by W. Va. Code § 29A- 5-4(b) to serve a copy of the appeal petition upon the Grievance Board. The appealing party must also provide the Board with the civil action number so that the record can be prepared and properly transmitted to the appropriate circuit court.
MARY JO SWARTZ
Administrative Law Judge
Dated: February 10, 2003