An administrative law judge upheld a 20-day unpaid suspension for a bus driver who was seen by a fellow employee talking on her cell phone while driving a “loaded” Route 22 bus in August.
In 2010, Whistleblower wrote about Metro Transit’s year-old turn-off-and-stow cell phone policy and ensuing union grievances.
The suspended driver, Barbara Patterson, put forth several explanations for why in-bus cameras showed her appearing to talk with her hand up to her ear for almost five minutes: Gum chewing, shielding her face from a passenger in the “peanut seats” and adjusting her hair, cap or earring.
The arbitrator found that those and other variations in Patterson’s account “call into question grievant’s credibility.”

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