Oklahoma’s Department of Tourism and Recreation is facing scrutiny for the way it treated one of its workers upon his return from sick leave. So reports Fox25News.
John Chinn, who worked for nearly 30 years as a park ranger, decided to take time off to recover from an injury he suffered on the job years earlier when the pain reached the point of needing surgery. He opted to take federal medical leave after having banked nine months of sick leave in his years working for the agency, court records note.
While no one questioned Chinn at the time, Chinn says he got a notice from the department that he was suspended without pay due to excessive absenteeism until it decided what to do. Chinn said he had received no warning and was being suspended even though the Merit Protection Commission noted his good work record.
But Chinn would soon learn from a former human resources manager for the agency that his suspension may have been due to something else. The HR manager said Chinn's age was a factor.
The former HR manager told Fox25News about conversations she had with upper management about Chinn’s case. “[Employees] were retired under the threat of being fired.” Chinn was fired, but won his job back as well as back pay for the time he was out of work fighting for reinstatement.
But Chinn retired after saying he continued to face harassment. The Department of Tourism declined to comment.