Civil Service Job Protection

This is Dial-Law with information on Civil Service Job Protection. It gives general information about employment rights of civil service employees.

Civil service laws and regulations provide certain kinds of employment security to long-term employees of federal, state and local governments.

After a set period of government service, the employee achieves what is called "career" status. Before that time, the person is a probationary employee and may be discharged without cause, as long as there is no discrimination on the basis of national origin, race, religion, color, age or sex. For employees of the state or local government entities there is also protection from discrimination on the basis of marital status, mental or physical handicap unrelated to ability to perform the job and unfavorable discharge from the military.

A probationary employee is not entitled to a notice or a hearing on a dismissal. However, a career employee must receive notice of the reasons for the proposed discharge. The employee is to have an opportunity to respond in writing and to appear in person to contest the dismissal. Whether the discharge should be sustained must be decided by someone other than the person who made the charges leading to the proposed dismissal.

If the decision goes against the career employee, the employee can appeal. Federal employees appeal to the Merit System Protection Board. At the state and local levels, the appeal goes to one of the various civil service commissions.

The employee who appeals is entitled to be represented by an attorney, to have a hearing, to produce witnesses and to cross-examine the witnesses of the person seeking the dismissal. There is also a right of appeal to the courts.

However, an employee of the U.S. Postal System does not have the benefits and protection of the civil service statutes and regulations, unless he has veteran's preference as a former member of the U.S. Armed Forces. If he is a non-veteran, he must rely on his union, the union agreement, and the grievance procedure it provides.