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Appealing Removal from New Jersey Civil Service List for Hiring or Promotion

In New Jersey Civil Service, hiring and promotion are done in accordance with the applicant’s (or “eligible’s”) rank on a list.  There are specific reasons why an applicant may be removed from a Civil Service list.  However, sometimes removal is done because of favoritism,sgt-johnny-jpeg-232x300 nepotism, politics, discrimination, whistleblower retaliation, cronyism, or outright bribery.  Since the entire purpose of the New Jersey Civil Service System is to ensure that hiring is based on merit, there is an appeal process for applicants who believe that their name was improperly removed from a Civil Service hiring or promotion list.


Allowed Reasons for Removal from a Civil Service Eligible List

An applicant may be removed from a list because she:

  • Lacks the job requirements;
  • Is ineligible for the position;
  • Is physically or psychologically unfit for the position (an injury incurred in military service will not be a disqualification unless the Commission finds the condition to be incapacitating);
  • Fails the examination;
  • Has been previously terminated from government employment because of discipline after opportunity for a hearing;
  • Made a material false statement in the promotion or hiring process;
  • Has a prior negative employment history;
  • Failed to pay the application processing fee;
  • Is unable or refuses to accept appointment;
  • Is unavailable;
  • Has a criminal record which adversely relates to the employment sought;
  • Postal authorities are unable to locate or deliver mail to the applicant;
  • Non-compliance with the instructions;
  • Moving out of the jurisdiction when residence is a requirement;
  • Failure to maintain interest; and
  • Other valid reasons as determined by the New Jersey Civil Service Commissioner.

The guiding principle to removal is that given the New Jersey Constitution’s requirement for merit-based appointments, the basis is “unfitness to serve.”

If the New Jersey Civil Service Commission determines that there are sufficient grounds for removal, it will notify both the employer and applicant and advise the eligible of her appeal rights.

Expungements will preclude rejection of an applicant and removal from an eligible list, except for law enforcement, firefighter or correction officer titles, and such other titles as the New Jersey Civil Service Commissioner determines.  An arrest which was dismissed pursuant to a conditional discharge or pre-trial intervention, standing alone, is not sufficient to warrant removal absent a showing of how the arrest adversely impacted the applicant’s qualifications or ability for the job.


Appealing Removal from a Civil Service Hiring or Promotion List

Applicants may appeal removal from a civil service hiring or promotional list.  Indeed, while provisional employees may not have a right to appeal their removal from office, they do have a right to appeal removal of their name from an eligible list.

Notices of appeal must be filed with the New Jersey Civil Service Commission within 20 days.  The burden is on the employer in list removal appeals. Thus, after the Commission receives the applicant’s notice of appeal, the employer must give its reasons for seeking removal from the list.

While the Commission may decide the appeal on the documents submitted by the employer and applicant, it should grant a hearing in the New Jersey Office of Administrative Law before an administrative law judge when there are contested facts which require a determination. Therefore, the papers which the applicant submits on appeal are extremely important.


Contact Us

Our New Jersey Civil Service attorneys represent government employees in all aspects of New Jersey employment law, including Civil Service appeals.  Call us at (973) 890-0004 or fill out the contact form on this page to schedule a consultation with one of our New Jersey employment lawyers.  We can help.

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