We are dedicated to protecting the rights of New Jersey’s government employees against violation by their public employers both in the civil service arena and in state and federal court.
Government employees have all the same rights and protections as private sector employees. However, they enjoy greater protections precisely because the government is their employer, and its actions are constrained by both the New Jersey and United States Constitutions. In addition to the anti-discrimination and whistleblower protections all employees have, government employees’ free speech, equal protection and due process rights are protected. Employees could enjoy additional protections under the New Jersey Civil Rights Act.
All of New Jersey’s state employees and many of its county and local employees, and many employees of government boards and authorities are protected by civil service. Civil service was adopted to take politics, nepotism and favoritism out of employment decisions so that employment would be based on merit only, so that citizens would have the best possible government workforce.
Our employment attorneys represent civil servants at all levels – state, county, local, bi-state agency, and public school and college employees. We fight for government employees when their rights are violated. We have considerable experience and expertise in public employment law. We have pursued many cases for public employees to successful conclusions, and Maurice McLaughlin is the author of the conclusive book on the subject, New Jersey Public Employment Law (published by Gann Law Books).Special ProtectionsNew Jersey civil service employees receive a wide range of protections. For instance, permanent employees in the career service receive a form of tenure, which means they cannot be fired except for just cause. Other protections govern hiring, discipline and layoffs. Civil service employees have the right to appeal to the New Jersey Civil Service Commission, and then to the Appellate Division of the Superior Court. Indeed, even minor discipline can be appealed through what is known as a “prerogative writ” in the Superior Court.Protection Against DiscriminationLike private sector employers, the government cannot discriminate because of who its employees are. All of the private sector action discrimination laws apply equally to the government. Our employment attorneys have represented government employees in many successful lawsuits.Whistleblower ProtectionNew Jersey's whistleblower laws provide the strongest protections in the country for employees who refuse to participate in, object to or disclose, practices, policies or conduct by their employers which violate a law, rule, civil service law, a clear mandate of public policy concerning public health or safety, or which is fraudulent. We have successfully represented many public sector employees who spoke out against illegal conduct by their government employers.
Constitutional & Civil Rights Claims
Our employment lawyers represent New Jersey civil servants seeking redress from a wide range of constitutional and civil rights violations, including:
- Due Process. Civil service employees who have obtained “tenure,” or reached permanent status, have a constitutional right not to be fired or disciplined without due process.
- Free Speech. Government employers cannot retaliate against their employees who speak out on a matter of public concern beyond the scope of their job duties.
- Equal Protection. The government has a duty to treat its employees fairly, regardless of any particular category they may fall into. It therefore cannot treat similarly situated employees in different ways, unless it can demonstrate that it had a “legitimate” reason. The government cannot treat its employees in an arbitrary or capricious manner.
Our lawyers have represented many civil servants. We are committed to fighting for the rights of employees. If your government employer has violated your rights, e-mail us or call (973) 890-0004. We are experienced at fighting for the rights of New Jersey’s public servants, who go to work every day to serve our citizens.
- Appeals From Psychological or Medical Disqualification of Applicants for Law Enforcement or Firefighters Positions
- The Winters Problem: Administrative Remedies (Such as Civil Service Appeals and Tenure Hearings) and Litigation in the Courts
- Progressive Discipline: Consideration of Prior Discipline in Civil Service Discipline