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Goodwin v. Louisiana Department of Health

Court of Appeals of Louisiana, First Circuit

May 31, 2019

TERRELL GOODWIN
v.
LOUISIANA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, OFFICE OF CITIZENS WITH DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES, PINECREST SUPPORTS AND SERVICES CENTER

          On Appeal from the State Civil Service Commission State of Louisiana Docket No. 18, 420 Honorable David Duplantier, Chairman; D. Scott Hughes, Vice-Chairman; John McLure, G. Lee Griffin, C. "Pete" Fremin, Ronald M. Carrere, Jr. and Jo Ann Nixon, Presiding Commissioners of the State Civil Service Commission

         Bryon P. Decoteau, Jr., Director Department of State Civil Service

          Edward Larvadain, Jr. Alexandria, LA Attorney for Plaintiff-Appellee, Terrell Goodwin

          Neal R. Elliott, Jr. Baton Rouge, LA Attorney for Defendant-Appellant, Louisiana Department of Health

          Adrienne Bordelon Baton Rouge, LA Attorney for Defendant-Appellant, Department of Civil Service

          BEFORE: WHIPPLE C.J., McCLENDON, AND HIGGINBOTHAM, JJ.

          HIGGINBOTHAM, J.

         In this Civil Service case, the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) challenges the Louisiana Civil Service Commission's decision ordering LDH to pay Terrell Goodwin, a civil service employee, back pay in conformance with the terms of a settlement agreement.

         FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         In January 2018, Mr. Goodwin was employed as a Residential Services Specialist 2 at Pinecrest Supports and Services Center, which is part of the LDH's Office of Citizens with Developmental Disabilities. By a letter from LDH dated January 22, 2018, Mr. Goodwin was dismissed from his position. Mr. Goodwin appealed his dismissal to the Civil Service Commission. On April 20, 2018, the day Mr. Goodwin's appeal was set for hearing, Mr. Goodwin and LDH entered into a settlement agreement. The settlement agreement provided, in pertinent part:

1. [Mr. Goodwin] agrees to withdraw appeal with prejudice.
2. [LDH] agrees to rescind disciplinary action effective 4:30pm January 26, 2018 and remove any and all documents from the personnel and electronic file.
3. [LDH] agrees to reinstate [Mr. Goodwin] to his position of Residential Services Specialist 2 and pay back wages with required deductions from 4:30pm January 26, 2018 to 4:30pm April 20, 2018 and subject to offset of wages earned by [Mr. Goodwin] through other employment during this period.
4. [Mr. Goodwin] agrees to voluntarily resign effective 4:30pm April 20, 2018 and [LDH] agrees to ...

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