On Friday, officials announced that of the nearly 500 Arizona Department of Economic Security (DES) employees who left the Department as part of an overhaul by former Director Tim Jeffries, only 267 asked for their jobs back and of those, only 40 will be allowed to return.
Megan Rose, Director of Communications for the Arizona Department of Administration sent an email out announcing the news. She wrote:
Today, the Arizona Department of Administration has finalized its determinations regarding the review of individual cases of involuntarily separated employees. Below is our statement, which you can attribute to me.
“In late October, the Governor’s Office directed the Arizona Department of Administration Human Resources Division (ADOA HRD) to review cases of individuals who believed they were improperly separated from employment. The Department took this matter very seriously and thoroughly reviewed each case individually.
We received 267 emails requesting review. All cases that were submitted via email during the review period have been carefully evaluated by the HRD team at ADOA. There were 40 individuals that we determined were separated in a manner that did not follow the best practices of ADOA HRD. These individuals will be contacted over the next week, before the end of the year, with an offer of re-hire at DES into their previous position, if available. If that position is filled or no longer exists, we will work to place them in a comparable position for which they are qualified. At a minimum, they will receive their previous salary.
In the remainder of the cases, ADOA HRD determined the agency decision stands. All individuals will be contacted before the new year with our determinations.”
Jeffries had received instructions from the Governor when he agreed to take the DES leadership position to figure “out a way to eliminate the worst 10% of any category” of employee in the department. Jeffries reached little over 6 percent.
As Ray Stern of the Phoenix News Times notes in his article, “Although Ducey’s office appeared to condone the terminations until they became fodder for a media feeding frenzy, the governor directed the ADOA to set up hotline in October for aggrieved terminated employees and a procedure via which they could try to get rehired.”