State government welcomes return of common sense |

State government welcomes return of common sense

A decision by a state panel on Friday returns a measure of common sense to state government which disappeared when a hearing officer overturned the firing of a female prison guard.

That guard had performed a sex act on a male co-worker. He resigned, but she contested her firing. It’s a ridiculous statement on the status of our bureaucracy that her firing was overturned. The hearing officer compared it to sleeping on the job.

It’s nothing like that, of course, and the decision prompted plenty of outrage.

Some administrators correctly pointed out that if it had happened in the private sector, there would have been no hearings or legal expenses. She would have been fired – end of story.

Yet it’s different with state government. Nevada residents who would not consider doing business with a company that conducted itself in that fashion have no choice but to deal with state agencies.

The decision on Friday is good news for state workers, the majority of whom cannot possibly want to be associated with an organization that, by the mere stroke of a hearing officer’s pen, ostensibly sends out a message that having sex on the job is just not that big of a deal.

We applaud the members of the state Personnel Commission for making sure it does not happen again.

Their action gave administrators the right to immediately terminate violators of sexual misconduct and harassment policies, which includes those who use work computers to view pornography.

Yes, it’s severe and prone to abuses by unethical bosses, but that’s a flaw that can be fixed. What’s more important is restoring public confidence in the work force whose salaries they pay.