Whether you are in a Civil Service Department or follow State and Federal laws, charges fall into different categories. Customarily, charges will be determined by your Rules & Regulations and/or your Policy. More likely than not, when you are charged, you will recieve something in writing with a short description of what occurred and the Rules or Policies that you violated.
On 1/1/1001, while in the Office of the Lt. Wingnut, you were ordered to direct traffic in the cow pasture from midnight until 4:00 a.m. You then raised your voice to the Lt., used derogative terms and refused to follow a direct order in violation of Rules and Regulation #000 and 0001. Demeanor towards a supervisor and insubordination.
The charge sheet should also tell you if your infraction is considered to be a "minor" infraction which penalty could result in anything from a verbal warning to a 5 day suspension, or a "major" infraction which could result in anything over a 5 day suspension, up to and including termination.
Civil Service offers the following definitions for infractions:
1. Don't say anything to the officer serving you, or be polite and say "thank you".
2. Make sure your Union received a copy of your charges. Even if you are not going to use your Union to address the charges, most Unions try to keep track of how frequently their officers are disciplined and why.
3. Check your Collective Bargaining Contract (CBA) for the grievance procedure. Collect any documentation that you have and write a grievance if you disagree with the charges. Most Departments give you 5 days to notify them if you are going to fight the charges.
4. You do not need to use the Union to file a grievance. You may file it yourself but should copy them on it as a courtesy. The Union should file the grievance on your behalf if your request them to.
Your Grievance Procedure will dictate the time frames that the Administration has to respond to you. For more information go to our Grievance Page.
Be aware, that if you have 3 minor disciplines or fines in a one year period, you can appeal directly to Civil Service.
What to do when served with a Major Discipline:
Major discipline should be served on a Civil Service Form 31A - View a Copy Here.
If you are part of the Legal Protection Plan, you are entitled to an attorney at no cost to you. Check with your Union. You do not have to use the Union Attorney but can pick from a list of the attorneys in the Plan which is posted on the State PBA web site http://www.njspba.com/lpp/.
You or your attorney must notify the Department within the time that is listed on your charges that you want a Departmental Hearing. For more information visit our Departmental Hearing Page.
If the charges are serious, you could be suspended pending your hearing.
If you are suspended, take immediate steps to assure you will have the means to support yourself during this time. For more information visit our Suspended Page.
A Departmental Hearing will be scheduled. Once that is concluded, you will receive a decision from the Hearing Officer and a Civil Service Form 31B. If you do not agree with the Hearing Officer's decision, you have 20 days to appeal the decision to either Civil Service or the Superior Court. Click here to obtain an Appeal Form.
There is a $20.00 charge to file the appeal. Once the appeal is filed you will have a hearing within 6 months or be placed back on the payroll of your Department.
You can expect to have a full hearing at Civil Service which will usually take place on a number of separate days. You will have the ability to call witnesses and present evidence. You will receive a fair and impartial hearing in front of a Judge who is not an employee of your Department.