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New Jersey Civil Service Commission List Bypass Appeals

Hello.

This is Robert Chewning from McLaughlin & Nardi.  I am here today to talk about Civil Service Commission appeals, specifically list bypass appeals.

List bypass appeals come into play when an individual is bypassed on a list for promotions to a higher civil service position than they already had.  Any individual that is under the guidance of the Civil Service Commission in order to be promoted needs to take a civil service examination where they are given a grade.  That grade is placed on a list in which you were given a ranking based upon your grade.  That list is given to the appointing authority for them to make promotions off of.

The appointing authority is not limited to simply making promotions from top to bottom of that list.  They are given some discretion with regards to how they promote.  That discretion is given based upon and under what is called the Rule of Three, which allows them to select any one of the top three candidates on that particular list, and they are allowed that discretion to consider other merit-based considerations other than simply the test score an individual receives from the promotional examination.

One way that the appointing authority will use for other merit based considerations is through the use of an interview process where the appointing authority will grade the candidates based upon responses to sample questions that they might have and they will use that interview score with the test score in conjunction to decide who they want to promote.  They are allowed to do that.  What appointing authorities are not allowed to do is to promote for improper reasons, and two examples that we see all too common are when a promotion is based upon a discriminatory or retaliatory reason, or for any other improper reason for that matter.

If that is the case, and if you feel you have been subject to this sort of improper bypass, you may have a right to appeal.  It is important to note though that the window and the opportunity for you to appeal is very short with these types of appeals.  You are only allowed twenty days from the day that you learn of the bypass or the day in which you should have learned of the bypass to file an appeal with the Civil Service Commission.  So it is important that you move quickly to file yourself or through the help of an attorney.

Once the appeal is actually filed, it will be important for you to have evidence showing that discriminatory reason, retaliatory reason or the improper reason, because it is your burden in that appeal to showcase that.  It will be important for you to be able to show that discriminatory, retaliatory or improper reason or be able to put enough evidence forward to show that there is at least a dispute as to whether or not the decision was improper by the appointing authority.

We have several employment attorneys that are well versed in these sort of appeals at McLaughlin & Nardi.  If you feel that you are in such a situation or you have any further questions after viewing this video, please feel free to give us a call.  Our phone number is (973) 890-0004.  Thank you.