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12 23Sat11012014

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Back Local News Safety report: ‘Oily substance’ caused Meno’s fall

Safety report: ‘Oily substance’ caused Meno’s fall

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A SAFETY report issued by a Port Authority of Guam safety inspector in September 2011 supports former PAG employee Bernadette Stern Meno’s claim that she slipped and fell in the restroom while at work.

The report – which was not included in Meno’s final notice of adverse action – said the primary cause of Meno’s fall was an “oily substance” on the bathroom floor. The safety inspector at the time indicated in the report that the situation should be discussed further with the corporate services manager.

Meno, former marketing administrator of PAG, and five other port employees were dismissed from their jobs in December last year for allegedly falsifying documents related to a travel request and worker’s compensation claim filed by Meno.

PAG management maintained that Meno's injuries did not require the $70,000 claim.

PAG management also claimed that the per diem payment for Meno’s medical trip was tripled and the dates of the trip changed.

According to the safety report, in the morning of Sept. 22, 2011, Meno was exiting a stall in the ladies' room on the second floor of the Administration Building when she slipped on an “oily substance” and fell on her back.

At the time of the incident, Meno complained of pain in her lower back, right leg and right arm, the report said. However, Meno declined medical attention.

According to the report’s findings, Worker’s Compensation Commission forms reporting the injury were issued.

Meno, along with the six other employees, are appealing their dismissal with the Civil Service Commission.

Through legal counsel Curtis Van de Veld, Meno is challenging PAG’s decision, saying the claims and allegations in the final notice of adverse action were inaccurate.

In addition, PAG management had violated the 60-day rule which requires employers to take action within 60 days of knowing about an employee’s wrongdoing.

Frank Roberto, safety administrator, was not sanctioned or implicated in the alleged fraud.

In a previous CSC meeting, PAG legal counsel Mike Philips argued that Roberto, in fact, was unaware of the alleged conspiracy.

Frances Arriola, personnel specialist, won her appeal on May 2 on grounds that management did not follow the 60-day rule.

Meno’s motion on the 60-day rule, however, was denied.

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