State Codes and Statutes

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > Nebraska > Chapter48 > 48-801

48-801. Terms, defined.As used in the Industrial Relations Act, unless the context otherwise requires:(1) Person shall include an individual, partnership, limited liability company, association, corporation, business trust, or other organized group of persons;(2) Governmental service shall mean all services performed under employment by the State of Nebraska, any political or governmental subdivision thereof, any municipal corporation, or any public power district or public power and irrigation district;(3) Public utility shall include any individual, partnership, limited liability company, association, corporation, business trust, or other organized group of persons, any political or governmental subdivision of the State of Nebraska, any public corporation, or any public power district or public power and irrigation district, which carries on an intrastate business in this state and over which the government of the United States has not assumed exclusive regulation and control, that furnishes transportation for hire, telephone service, telegraph service, electric light, heat and power service, gas for heating or illuminating, whether natural or artificial, or water service, or any one or more thereof;(4) Employer shall mean the State of Nebraska or any political or governmental subdivision of the State of Nebraska except the Nebraska National Guard or state militia. Employer shall also mean any municipal corporation, any public power district or public power and irrigation district, or any public utility;(5) Employee shall include any person employed by any employer;(6) Labor organization shall mean any organization of any kind or any agency or employee representation committee or plan, in which employees participate and which exists for the purpose, in whole or in part, of dealing with employers concerning grievances, labor disputes, wages, rates of pay, hours of employment, or conditions of work;(7) Industrial dispute shall include any controversy concerning terms, tenure, or conditions of employment, or concerning the association or representation of persons in negotiating, fixing, maintaining, changing, or seeking to arrange terms or conditions of employment, or refusal to discuss terms or conditions of employment;(8) Commission shall mean the Commission of Industrial Relations;(9) Commissioner shall mean a member of the commission; and(10) Supervisor shall mean any employee having authority, in the interest of the employer, to hire, transfer, suspend, lay off, recall, promote, discharge, assign, reward, or discipline other employees, or responsibly to direct them or to adjust their grievances, or effectively to recommend such action, if in connection with the foregoing the exercise of such authority is not a merely routine or clerical nature, but requires the use of independent judgment. SourceLaws 1947, c. 178, § 1, p. 586; Laws 1967, c. 303, § 1, p. 823; Laws 1967, c. 304, § 1, p. 826; Laws 1969, c. 407, § 1, p. 1405; Laws 1972, LB 1228, § 1; Laws 1985, LB 213, § 1; Laws 1986, LB 809, § 2; Laws 1993, LB 121, § 294; Laws 2007, LB472, § 1.Annotations1. Constitutionality2. Jurisdiction of commission3. Bargaining units4. Miscellaneous1. ConstitutionalityThe statutes which give the Court of Industrial Relations jurisdiction over public employees are not unconstitutional. American Fed. of S., C. & M. Emp. v. Department of Public Institutions, 195 Neb. 253, 237 N.W.2d 841 (1976).To pass scrutiny of Constitution of the United States, Nebraska Court of Industrial Relations, in case within its jurisdiction, must be deemed to have sufficient power to fully vindicate, preserve, and protect a federal constitutional right. Teamsters Pub. Emp. U. Loc. 594 v. City of West Point, 338 F.Supp. 927 (D. Neb. 1972).2. Jurisdiction of commissionA mere request by a union for information regarding employee transfer lists and test results which is declined by the employer does not constitute an industrial dispute. Neb. Pub. Emp. v. City of Omaha, 235 Neb. 768, 457 N.W.2d 429 (1990).A uniquely personal termination of employment does not constitute an industrial dispute, notwithstanding the fact it may involve a controversy concerning terms, tenure, or conditions of employment. Wood v. Tesch, 222 Neb. 654, 386 N.W.2d 436 (1986).The Commission of Industrial Relations has jurisdiction, that is, authorized power, to resolve industrial disputes between agencies or departments of the State of Nebraska and their employees. State Code Agencies Ed. Assn. v. Department of Pub. Insts., 219 Neb. 555, 364 N.W.2d 44 (1985).The authority of the Court of Industrial Relations, now Commission of Industrial Relations, is limited to industrial disputes, as defined in this section. University Police Officers Union v. University of Nebraska, 203 Neb. 4, 277 N.W.2d 529 (1979).The University of Nebraska has the primary authority for establishing its own schedule of wages, terms and conditions of employment, and hours of labor but when an industrial dispute, as defined in this section, arises, the Commission of Industrial Relations acquires jurisdiction for the limited purpose of resolving such dispute. University Police Officers Union v. University of Nebraska, 203 Neb. 4, 277 N.W.2d 529 (1979).3. Bargaining unitsHouse officers of the University of Nebraska Medical Center are employees of the state entitled to participate in an appropriate bargaining unit. House Officers Assn. v. University of Nebraska Medical Center, 198 Neb. 697, 255 N.W.2d 258 (1977).Supervisory or managerial personnel may not enter into a bargaining unit with rank and file employees and may not retain the same bargaining agent. Nebraska Assn. of Pub. Emp. v. Nebraska Game & Parks Commission, 197 Neb. 178, 247 N.W.2d 449 (1976).4. MiscellaneousEmployees lose the statutory protection of the Industrial Relations Act for conduct or speech if it is flagrant misconduct, which includes, but is not limited to, statements or actions that (1) are of an outrageous and insubordinate nature, (2) compromise the public employer's ability to accomplish its mission, or (3) disrupt discipline, as well as conduct that is clearly outside the bounds of any protection such as assault and battery or racial discrimination. Omaha Police Union Local 101 v. City of Omaha, 274 Neb. 70, 736 N.W.2d 375 (2007).Public employees belonging to a labor organization have the protected right to engage in conduct and make remarks, including publishing statements through the media, concerning wages, hours, or terms and conditions of employment. Omaha Police Union Local 101 v. City of Omaha, 274 Neb. 70, 736 N.W.2d 375 (2007).The Commission of Industrial Relations must balance the employee's right to engage in protected activity, which permits some leeway for impulsive behavior, against the employer's right to maintain order and respect for its supervisory staff. Factors that the commission may consider, but would not necessarily be determinative, include: (1) the place and subject matter of the conduct or speech, (2) whether the employee's conduct or speech was impulsive or designed, (3) whether the conduct or speech was provoked by the employer's conduct, and (4) the nature of the intemperate language or conduct. Omaha Police Union Local 101 v. City of Omaha, 274 Neb. 70, 736 N.W.2d 375 (2007).The Industrial Relations Act is not only an attempt to level the employment playing field, but is also a mechanism designed to protect the citizens of Nebraska from the effects and consequences of labor strife in public sector employment. Omaha Police Union Local 101 v. City of Omaha, 274 Neb. 70, 736 N.W.2d 375 (2007).Teachers in Class III, IV, and VI school districts are subject to provisions of Teachers' Professional Negotiation Act. Lincoln Ed. Assn. v. School Dist. of Lincoln, 214 Neb. 895, 336 N.W.2d 587 (1983).School districts are employers and teachers are employees within terms of this act. Sidney Education Assn. v. School Dist. of Sidney, 189 Neb. 540, 203 N.W.2d 762 (1973).