Ponca City, OK

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Oklahoma workers group to sue Health Department over layoffs

The Associated Press - October 17, 2018 7:25 am

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) – A group representing state workers says it intends to sue the Oklahoma State Department of Health over the agency’s termination of 161 workers amid fears of financial insolvency that later proved unfounded.

The Oklahoma Public Employees Association said Tuesday it has notified the agency of its plan to sue.

OPEA Executive Director Sterling Zearley says he’s tried to work with the agency’s administration to address the problem to no avail.

Health Department spokesman Tony Sellars said in an email the agency regrets the impact the layoffs had on its former employees and that they’re working to rehire many of the workers.

A six-month grand jury investigation into the agency determined its finances were so badly bungled that nearly 200 workers lost their jobs unnecessarily. Not all the fired workers sued.

 

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