15 Minutes, 15 Days – How EAA Saved The Day By Daniel Sotelo

Our Department (General Services) was attempting to suspend us for fifteen days for sitting in a parked city vehicle for fifteen minutes while on duty. My partner (Zaw Tun) had a promotional interview and our supervisor gave us specific instructions that we are, both, to attend the interview as we had to travel in pairs. While my partner (Zaw Tun) was being interviewed, I was to count inventory in the work truck.

As always recommended, Zaw and I left the worksite located across the City in ample time to arrive to his interview without rushing. We arrived approximately thirty minutes early. As he reviewed his interview notes, I sat quietly. We had not taken a break that day. After fifteen minutes, Zaw went in for his interview and I began counting inventory.

It turns out someone reported us sitting still in the work truck. When questioned by HR, we told them of our supervisor’s instruction, our early arrival, and taking our break. Our supervisor also submitted a memo verifying the same thing. Upper management kicked back his memo and asked him to remove pertinent information that exonerated us. The “official” memo that HR used in their investigation didn’t include that information. Our EAA Labor Rep got a hold of the original memo with the correct information and used that, and other relevant information to exonerate us. Our 15-day suspension turned into nothing.

– Daniel Sotelo (MOU 21)


For Your Information | The Labor Representative who assisted City of Los Angeles employees and EAA union members Danny Sotelo and Zaw Tun was Labor Representative Marleen Fonseca.