Published April 04, 2009, 01:00 PM

Greenwood Connections told to reinstate fired worker; adopt better documentation of job performance

Menahga’s city attorney Jeff Pederson presented the council Thursday with findings regarding the termination of Green Pine Acres director of nursing Cheryl Lapitz.

By: Riham Feshir, Park Rapids Enterprise

Menahga’s city attorney Jeff Pederson presented the council Thursday with findings regarding the termination of Green Pine Acres director of nursing Cheryl Lapitz.

Lapitz will get her job back based on the council’s agreement to adopt the findings.

Additionally, Greenwood Connections administrator Clair Erickson was directed to properly conduct and document a review and evaluation of Lapitz’s job performance. If disciplinary actions were necessary, they would vary from verbal or written disciplinary actions to up to a two- week suspension without pay.

In January, Lapitz was terminated without prior disciplinary actions, according to the findings.

Pederson’s findings concluded that because of lack of documentation and lack of prior disciplinary hearing combined with the nature of allegations that termination of the employee is not supportable by the council.

The allegations involve Lapitz using inappropriate, demeaning and intimidating language with staff and a nursing home resident, according to Pederson’s findings.

Four council members voted to adopt Pederson’s findings. Councilman Dennis Komulainen voted against them.

“I think that the administrator should have the power to decide what’s going to happen,” he said.

Another motion allowing Erickson to contact Pederson with human resource questions that involve legal matters was also carried by the council.

“The nursing home administrator may have HR questions that are of legal nature. They might not rise to the level of needing council action,” Pederson said.

In other business:

Mayor Tom Larson told the council that he contacted Innovis Health of Menahga about possibly adding a clinic to the proposed Greenwood Connections building expansion project.

If there is enough interest to add a health care facility, the council will move forward to further discuss the idea with the clinic’s administration, Larson said.

“The facility here is old and it’s not very accessible,” he said.

Because council members weren’t aware of this issue, they decided to give it more thought and tabled it until the next council meeting on April 13.

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