Originally Published on 6/22/2019; Revised on 4/28/2021
If you are a state civil service employee who has been served with a Notice of Adverse Action, you have the right to file an appeal with the State Personnel Board (“SPB”) Appeals Division within thirty (30) calendar days after the effective date of the adverse action. An “adverse action” is a formal disciplinary measure that is taken against state civil service employees. It includes, but is not limited to, dismissals, suspensions, demotions, salary reductions, and disciplinary transfers.
The reason(s) for the adverse action can be one or more of the 24 causes for discipline set forth in California Government Code section 19572. These 24 causes for discipline include incompetency, insubordination, misuse of state property, and dishonesty, among other things. Your Notice of Adverse Action will identify why an adverse action is being taken against you (i.e., which of the 24 causes for discipline apply to you).
If you appeal your Notice of Adverse Action, you (or your attorney) will have the opportunity to argue before an Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) as to why the adverse action against you should be revoked and/or why the penalty should be modified. The ALJ “will review the evidence that is presented to determine whether: (1) the department proved the factual acts or omissions as alleged in the notice of adverse action; (2) if so, whether those acts or omissions constitute legal cause for discipline; and (3) whether the penalty that the department imposed is just and proper for the proven misconduct.” (Appeals Resource Guide, Prepared by the State Personnel Board Appeals Division, May 2019, at 12.)
If you have been served with a Notice of Adverse Action that identifies “dishonesty” as one of the causes for discipline, here are some things that you should know:
1. In order for your employer to prove that your conduct constituted dishonesty, your employer must show that you intentionally misrepresented known facts.
2. The SPB has found “dishonesty” in the following instances: (a) when an associate programmer analyst filed two job applications that omitted the fact that he had previously been rejected during probation; (b) when a DMV office technician parked his car all day in a one-hour parking zone while prominently displaying on his dashboard a disabled person placard that did not belong to him; (c) when a service assistant falsely attributed a highly offensive statement to a coworker; and (d) when an administrator with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (the “DFEH”) instructed his subordinate employees to falsify information on timesheets used to bill the DFEH’s clients.
Click here to read “Notice of Adverse Action: Insubordination;” click here to read “Notice of Adverse Action: Willful Disobedience;” and click here to read “Notice of Adverse Action: Misuse of State Property.”
If you are a state civil service employee who has been served with a Notice of Adverse Action and are contemplating filing an appeal with the SPB Appeals Division, call ((916) 612-0326) or email ([email protected]) Finley Employment Law today. We serve clients throughout California, including Sacramento, Roseville, Davis, Folsom, and Elk Grove.
The information in this blog post is for general informational and advertising purposes only and is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. Instead, you should speak with a California employment attorney for advice regarding your individual situation.