Articles Tagged with Civil Service Appeals

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Our firm’s employment lawyers handle a significant number of New Jersey civil service issues.  One of the most vexing is removal from a list of eligibles because of medical or psychological disqualification.

Hiring for the vast majority of civil service jobs is determined by merit based on competitive examinations.  One thing that may disqualify an applicant is disqualification because of an alleged psychological or medical condition which would render the candidate unable to effectively perform the requirements of the job she is applying for.

Generally the disqualification will not happen until after the examination is complete, the results are tabulated, and a list of eligibles is generated.  Prior to an offer of employment being made the employer cannot require the applicant to submit to a medical or psychological examination.  After the offer of employment is made, however, the applicant may be required to submit to a medical or psychological examination as a condition of employment, provided that all other applicants to whom offers are extended are required to undergo an evaluation as well.  If the results indicate the applicant cannot perform the essential duties of her job because of a psychological or medical condition, the employer can request that the Civil Service Commission remove her name from the list.

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council-of-state-535721__340-1-300x103The 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.