All state employees, and the majority of state and local employees in New Jersey, are governed by the New Jersey’s civil service laws. In the case of In the Matter Hendrickson, The New Jersey Supreme Court recently issued a landmark decision on the level of deference given by courts to decisions by administrative law judges in appeals of employer discipline by civil service employees.
Discipline at the Employer Level
New Jersey’s Civil Service Act and the regulations adopted by New Jersey’s Civil Service Commission govern disciplinary procedures in state government, and in the local and county governments which have adopted the civil service system. When a civil service employee receives discipline, she will be given a Preliminary Notice of Disciplinary Action, known as a PNDA or Civil Service Commission Form 31-A. He will then be given the opportunity for a hearing by his employer in which he can contest the charges against him, or argue that the level of discipline is too severe. After the hearing, if the employer decides the employee was guilty of the offense charged and that discipline is warranted it will issue a Final Notice of Disciplinary Action, known as a FNDA or Civil Service Commission Form 31-B.