OPEA Files Temporary Restraining Order and Injunction on Tourism Positions

Wednesday, August 10, the Oklahoma Public Employees Association filed a temporary restraining order and injunction to halt personnel actions related to the closure of seven parks in the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department.

Workers at the parks slated for closure were told by the agency to report for duty at other parks because their positions were being abolished at their current location. While some employees wanted to take the positions and remain with the agency, the proposed locations would put undue hardship on several workers because of increased commuting time.

OPEA contends that the agency should comply with the “Reduction-in-Force and Severance Benefit Act.” The Act protects the rights of affected employees when facilities are being closed and positions abolished. According to the Act, affected employees must be offered displacement opportunities or the severance package outlined in the RIF statutes.

“The RIF statute was passed over 15 years ago and has ensured state employees’ rights are preserved during downsizing and closures,” said OPEA Executive Director Sterling Zearley. “OPEA has worked with employees over the years during the challenging times of facility closures and downsizing. The RIF statutes preserve the rights of employees and ensure everyone is treated fairly. We filed the injunction to ensure that the agency complies with the law and provides employees with their statutory rights.”

Kevin Donelson and Regina Marsh of Fellers, Snider, Blankenship, Bailey and Tippens are representing OPEA in this action. The first hearing on this issue will be August 12, 1:30 PM before Judge Dixon in Oklahoma County District Court.

To view a copy of the Temporary Restraining Order click here.

To view a copy of the Petition for Declaratory Judgment and Injunctive Relief click here.

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