Contra Costa County Teamster reinstated after wrongful termination

Victoria Mozzetti was reinstated to her job with Contra Costa County this year

After 13 years of service, Victoria Mozzetti was wrongfully terminated from her position as an Institutional Service Worker (ISW) for Contra Costa County.

Last May, Victoria resigned in haste after an incident at work. When she spoke to her husband about her resignation, they decided that it was best for their family for her to get her job back.

Victoria reached out to Teamsters 856 Rep. Corey Hallman to figure out her options.

“I reviewed the MOU to see what I could find and I found language that related directly to the situation,” said Corey. “I called Victoria back and told her the contract states that employees have three days to rescind their resignation in writing to HR, and the HR Director then has five work days to respond with a decision.”

Corey advised Victoria to hand write a letter stating her intention to rescind her resignation and return to work, and deliver the letter to HR. When she did, Victoria also asked the staff to make a copy and stamp it with the date and time.

While they waited for a response, Corey spoke with Victoria’s immediate supervisor. “I confirmed with the ISW Director that if HR contacted him, he’d put in a good word and would be willing to hire her back,” he said.

Once the allotted seven days had passed and Victoria hadn’t heard anything, she became concerned. She learned that HR lost her original letter. But Victoria’s due diligence paid off. She was able to give HR the copy she had date and time stamped, and they extended the five work day period another five days.

Negligence on the county’s part, however, led to speculation at the hospital about why Victoria resigned. The speculation may be the reason her direct supervisor changed his mind about vouching for Victoria’s return to work.

“They didn’t do everything according to the MOU,” said Victoria. “They didn’t get back to me in a timely manner and it cost me my job.”

Corey and Victoria went through five steps of the grievance process, and were scheduled to attend an arbitration hearing when tragedy struck and put everything on hold.

In March, Victoria’s husband John passed away. John Mozzetti was also Teamsters 856 member and an Institutional Service Worker like Victoria for 26 years. “I’ve known John since seventh grade,” said Victoria. “Everybody knew John and everybody loved him.”

Teamsters 856 Rep. Corey Hallman told Victoria about the Local 856 Solidarity Fund which assists members in crisis. “Corey personally came to my house with the Solidarity Fund application,” she said. “Teamsters were able to help me with my finances, and the local also sent flowers on my husband’s behalf.”

In June of this year, Teamsters 856’s attorneys approached the county about a settlement in Victoria’s case and they agreed. The agreement was signed in August, and Victoria was reinstated with full seniority on August 16th.

“It’s a victory,” said Corey. “The county had sloppy record keeping. There’s a very specific timeline spelled out in the MOU that had been bargained, and they didn’t hold up their end of the deal.”

“It’s good to be a union member because you have rights, and they can’t walk all over you,” said Victoria. “If I wasn’t a member, I probably wouldn’t have my job.”

Click here to learn about how to donate to or apply for assistance through the Teamsters 856 Solidarity Fund.