Exclusively Employment Law

Notice of Adverse Action: Inexcusable Neglect of Duty

by | Jun 14, 2019 | Inexcusable Neglect of Duty

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 discourteous treatment of the public or other employees, 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 “inexcusable neglect of duty” as one of the causes for discipline, here are some things that you should know:

1. In order to show that your conduct constitutes “inexcusable neglect of duty,” your employer must prove that you intentionally or with gross negligence failed to exercise due diligence in performing one of your known official duties.

2. To be subject to discipline for “inexcusable neglect of duty,” you must have actual or constructive notice of the expected standards of conduct, unless the conduct is so clearly wrong that notice is unnecessary.

3. The SPB has found “inexcusable neglect of duty” in the following instances: (a) when a supervisor borrowed money from one of his subordinates; (b) when a traffic officer failed to appear in court on two criminal cases to testify about citations that he had issued; (c) when a corrections officer left her assigned post at the steam table (where hot food was served) while inmates were still waiting for their food; (d) when a supervising motor vehicle field examiner made inappropriate sexual remarks to a female customer during a driving test; (e) when a DMV senior special investigator accessed confidential information from the DMV’s database without the necessary authorization; and (f) when a correctional officer reported to work while intoxicated.

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, Folsom, Roseville, Granite Bay, 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.