John Schembari, an attorney at Kutak Rock and nationally recognized for legal services in employee benefits and workplace issues, says the Omaha Public Power District used proper methods to retain employees at the Fort Calhoun nuclear power plant. Schembari made his comments in a story published Sunday, November 7, 2016 in the Omaha World-Herald, “OPPD secured retention pay for Fort Calhoun employees before board voted to shut down the plant."
The article stated that certain employees at OPPD got contracts that included large bonuses to entice them to stay at the Fort Calhoun nuclear power plant instead of leaving for other jobs as the utility’s management discussed closing the facility.
One question that has since been raised is why the contracts originally did not include an “out” clause for OPPD that would have allowed the OPPD board not to pay the bonuses if the board had voted to keep the Fort Calhoun facililty operating.
Schembari said leaving out such a clause “makes a lot of sense” and was a “reasonable approach” to hanging on to key employees. “Just the uncertainty in the air was enough to give OPPD concern that they’d lose good people,” said Schembari.
To see the entire World-Herald article, please click here.
Schembari serves as chair of the firm's employee benefits and executive compensation group. He works with private, public and governmental employers on their employee benefit plans and compensation programs.