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 the 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.