State Personnel Board Hearings

California State Personnel Board Hearings Lawyer

A Sacramento Attorney for Civil Service Employees

Are you a public employee employed by a local or state agency who is facing disciplinary action, including potential termination? You may have a right to have such a decision reviewed by the California State Personnel Board (SPB). The SPB has considerable power to correct unlawful terminations and disciplinary actions taken against public employees (like municipal and state employees), including the power to order your employer to pay you any wages that you lost as a result of the unlawful action or reinstate you to your former position.

Having your case heard by the SPB requires you to comply with specific rules and regulations, and success in your SPB hearing is not guaranteed. Increase your chances for success before the SPB by retaining a skilled California SPB hearing attorney.

The California SPB Appeals Process for an Adverse Action

If your employer has taken an adverse action against you, you may appeal that action to the SPB within 30 days of the effective date of that action. “Adverse actions” include suspensions, dismissals, demotions, and other similar actions. Before your employer can take such an action, it must provide you with written notification about the adverse action at least five days in advance of the date the action is to take effect.

You have the right to respond to the written notification provided by your employer. In addition, your employer may schedule a “Skelly” meeting to discuss the pending adverse action and permit you an opportunity to respond to the proposed action. If your employer persists in carrying out the adverse action even after your written response and/or the “Skelly” meeting, you must file your appeal to the SPB no later than 30 days after the adverse action goes into effect.

Your case will then be set for a settlement hearing with an administrative law judge (ALJ) specially trained to hear and decide adverse action-type cases. (If you are seeking the SPB’s intervention for a different type of matter, an ALJ knowledgeable in that specific case type will be assigned to that matter.) If no settlement or amicable resolution is possible, your case will be set for an evidentiary hearing.

What Happens at the Evidentiary Hearing?

At an SPB evidentiary hearing, your employer must produce evidence to establish, by a preponderance of the evidence (i.e., that it is more likely to be true than not true), that:

  1. The allegations contained in your employer’s written notification to you likely occurred;
  2. That the allegations provide the employer with grounds to discipline you;
  3. That the adverse action taken by the employer is appropriate.

The ALJ’s decision in the case will be reviewed by the SPB, who will either affirm and adopt the ALJ’s decision (most likely), modify the decision, or reject the decision. If the SPB rejects the ALJ’s decision, the parties will have an opportunity to argue the case before the SPB itself.

An evidentiary hearing may not be quite the same thing as a trial, but many of the same skills are needed. The Law Offices of Gay Carroll-Haring, is well-equipped to represent your interests before the SPB. Call my office at 916-443-3553 to schedule a case consultation.