NE Commission of Industrial Relations halts governor’s return-to-office order
On November 13, 2023, Nebraska Governor Jim Pillen issued an Executive Order (EO) requiring all employees of the state of Nebraska to return to on-site work from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, with certain limited exceptions. The Nebraska Association of Public Employees (NAPE) challenged the action, claiming that the state should be required to negotiate and bargain collectively over the governor’s EO. On December 29, 2023, the Nebraska Commission of Industrial Relations (CIR), which decides disputes over collective bargaining issues between public employers and their unionized employees, issued an order pausing the governor’s EO and “preserving the status quo” while the issue is litigated and decided by the CIR.
During the lengthy COVID pandemic, a number of employers allowed certain employees and departments to work remotely, and the state of Nebraska was no exception. However, as the most serious effects of the pandemic waned, employees in a number of industries, including public employees, grew quite comfortable working from home, which has presented a number of issues for both employees and employers.