The financial burden of a civil service appeal discourages many employees from filing. However, a successful employee may be able to recover the attorneys fees she spent on the appeal. Our attorneys handle civil service appeals for all of New Jersey’s Public Employees, such as police officers, teachers, firefighters, and administrative persons. Because we are concerned about the impact on our clients’ pocketbooks, we are always looking to see if we can shift the financial burden to the public employer.
This is important to the individual employee, of course, but also to the public at large. America is a democracy, and one of the key points to any form of a democracy is access to the government. Since the judiciary is one of the coequal branches of government, access to the court house is an important right. Shifting the costs of litigation to the employer after an employee’s successful appeal is one way to keep the doors to justice open to less well-off employees.
This principal was applied recently by in the case of In re Anthony Hearn, heard by the Appellate Division of the Superior Court of New Jersey. Anthony Hearn was a certified public accountant in the New Jersey Office of Compliance Investigations. He was an “unclassified” employee of the State of New Jersey. Hearn was demoted for allegedly violating certain provisions of the State’s anti-discrimination policy.