Articles Tagged with New Jersey civil service appeal

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In New Jersey Civil Service, hiring and promotion are done in accordance with the applicant’s (or “eligible’s”) rank on a list.  There are specific reasons why an applicant may be removed from a Civil Service list.  However, sometimes removal is done because of favoritism,sgt-johnny-jpeg-232x300 nepotism, politics, discrimination, whistleblower retaliation, cronyism, or outright bribery.  Since the entire purpose of the New Jersey Civil Service System is to ensure that hiring is based on merit, there is an appeal process for applicants who believe that their name was improperly removed from a Civil Service hiring or promotion list.

Allowed Reasons for Removal from a Civil Service Eligible List

An applicant may be removed from a list because she:

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In my last post I wrote about the Appellate Division case of In the Matter of Ambroise, which demonstrated that employees will get a fair hearing before the New Jersey Civil Service Commission and in appeals to state appellate Courts.  Another recent Appellate Division opinion columns-round-300x201in the case of In the Matter of Christopher Dunlap, Fire Fighter (M1838W), Township of Hillside shows that the Civil Service Commission and Appellate Division are not afraid to call B.S. on employers when the situation warrants.


Christopher Dunlap passed the civil service examination for firefighter, and his name was placed on the eligible list.  His name was certified for employment with Hillside Township.  He completed the application process, but was rejected by the Township for allegedly making a “material misrepresentation” on his application.  Making any “material misrepresentation” in the hiring process will cause an applicant to be removed from the eligible list.  The Township said that he failed to disclose juvenile charges against him.  Facts are everything, so I will quote at length from the Appellate Division’s decision.

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What is a Preliminary Notice of Disciplinary Action?

A Preliminary Notice of Disciplinary Action, also known as a PNDA or a Form 31-A, is a New Jersey Civil Service form which notifies an employee that her employer seeks to impose discipline, including an immediate suspension in someimagesCAWQ89PS cases.

What should I do if I receive a Preliminary Notice of Disciplinary Action?

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The bedrock principle of New Jersey Civil Service law is that merit and fitness should be the only factor considered in employment decisions, and discrimination, nepotism, cronyism, politics and bribery should be eliminated in public sector employment.  The gateway to this system is the New Jersey Civil Service examination process, which ensures that hiring and promotion are based on merit, not other impermissible considerations. Indeed, the New Jersey Constitution requires that whenevernational-gallery-of-art-1380105-m-300x248 possible, merit and fitness for hiring and promotions be determined by examination.  The New Jersey Civil Service Act and Regulations implement this constitutional principle.  Therefore, the principal means for determining merit and fitness for hiring and promotion of classified, career, permanent civil service employees is the New Jersey Civil Service examination process, which is administered by the New Jersey Civil Service Commission.

Obviously, then, civil service examinations are extremely important to applicants for hiring and promotion.  But the human condition is that mistakes occur, and the New Jersey Civil Service system is administered by humans, and so mistakes are made. Therefore there is a process for appeals.  Our New Jersey civil service attorneys represent state and local government employees in all aspects of New Jersey employment law, including civil service appeals.

Below is an overview of the New Jersey Civil Service examination system, and how candidates for hiring or promotion can appeal when a mistake is made.

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