Articles Tagged with New Jersey civil service appeal attorneys

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New Jersey employment law affords civil service employees with many due process protections when their employer seeks to impose discipline.  The Appellate Division’s recent decision in a civil service discipline appeal in the case of In the Matter of Figueroa, Camden County, Department of Parks examines one of the fundamental principles of these protections – the notice required to be received by thesupreme-administrative-court-3565618_960_720-300x200 employee before discipline may be imposed.


Adrian Figueroa, Jr., was a laborer for Camden County, a civil service jurisdiction, for 5 years.  He was charged with second-degree sexual assault and spent several days in jail after his arrest.  While he was in jail someone, it is unclear who, called and said he was out sick.  Eventually the County learned of the charges and served him with preliminary and then final notice of disciplinary action (a “PNDA” and “FNDA,” Forms 31-A and 31-B) suspending him pending  the resolution of the charges.  They were eventually downgraded and Figueroa pled guilty to harassment, a petty disorderly office.

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Some complain that civil service hinders efficient government.  Managers object that it limits their ability to run their organizations by hiring, firing and imposing discipline as they believe best.  Citizens argue it makes it too hard to get rid of “bad apples.”  Employees believe it makes promotions and transfers too difficult.  Applicants think the system makes it too hard to get hired.  All these criticisms are valid, to a point. megaphone-1480342__340-300x200 However, they miss the mark because they focus on the trees but miss the forest.  Life is a series of tradeoffs; every decision is a cost/benefit analysis.

New Jersey’s Civil Service System was adopted to combat grave problems with state and local government.  New Jersey has a long history of government corruption; it is by no means a new phenomenon.  This history includes a “spoils system” which gave election winners the power to award jobs to their supporters, bribery, favoritism, nepotism, cronyism and discrimination in hiring and keeping government jobs.  It was a disgrace.  New Jersey was – and is – hardly alone in these problems, but New Jersey took it to another level. Without civil service these problems would continue unchecked.  It’s not perfect, but New Jersey is a far better place because of civil service.

In 1908, the early Twentieth Century Progressive Movement led New Jersey to adopt its first civil service laws, and to establish the Civil Service Commission to regulate civil service practices.  Then, in 1947, a constitutional convention was held at Rutgers University, in which a new Constitution was adopted.  The goal of the constitutional convention was to reform many areas of New Jersey’s state and local government.  Article VII, section 1 of the New Jersey Constitution of 1947 provided that:

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