Oceano employee’s claim leads to changes
June 29, 2012
Shortly after receiving a claim for wrongful termination that detailed a supervisor’s porn use, Oceano district officials placed the supervisor on leave and changed the status of all district employees from tenured to at will.
In December, Oceano Community Services District Manager Thomas Geaslen and Field Utility Supervisor Dan Silveira fired Steven Langstaff, a tenured utilities service operator.
In his June 6 claim against the district, Langstaff contends he was terminated because of a disability and that district officials violated California’s labor laws. Upon his termination, management did not provide Langstaff with the reason he was fired in writing, the proper appeal process, or documents detailing his rights to receive COBRA benefits, the claim says.
According to the claim, Silveira, Langstaff’s supervisor, would order employees to his desk to watch pornography on government-owned computers. The claim also accuses Silveira of making sexually explicit comments about Girl Scouts.
Two days after receiving the claim, Geaslen placed Silveira on paid administrative leave. He resigned on Thursday.
Within a week of the claim, the district implemented a resolution that changed the status of all employees from tenured to at will.
On Wednesday, the district board met in closed session and denied Langstaff’s claim opening the door for a lawsuit.
Then on Thursday, the board met in a special closed session to discuss a cure and correct letter from Julie Tacker asking the board to resend its resolution and return employees to their previous tenured positions. The board did not comply.