New Jersey’s Civil Service System was enacted to keep politics, discrimination, favoritism out of employment decisions. Therefore, civil service employees may only be disciplined for “just cause.” The New Jersey and Federal Constitutions require that before any government body may take action against anyone they must receive due process, which is notice, the right to be heard, and fundamental fairness. Since government employers, even acting in their role as employers, are still the government, employees must receive due process before they can be disciplined. The New Jersey Civil Service Act and the Civil Service Commission’s regulations implementing it provide that due process to employees.
Written Notice and the Opportunity for a Hearing
When a government employer wants to discipline a civil service a permanent, career service employee or an employee in a working test period, it must give the employee written notice of the charges and specifications alleged against her (specifications are a statement of the facts underlying the charges) and the opportunity for a hearing at the employer level by the governmental jurisdiction or its designee. The employer must hold the hearing within 30 days of the notice unless the employee waives her right it.