New York Civil Service Appeals
Whether you have been disqualified as a candidate from a civil service application process, terminated from an active government position, or have had a disciplinary finding made against you, our firm can be of great assistance. Remember, you have the right to be heard! It is extremely important to note that many times our office can intervene before your last option is the formal appeals process. With this in mind, it is only beneficial for you to contact
our office as soon as a problem is encountered.
In the event that you are passed this point and an appeal is your last option, we can still assist you! While it is not mandatory to retain the services of an attorney, it is highly recommended due to the complexities of the appeals process. Most appeals revolve around a decision made against your interests and can have life changing effects if not appealed correctly. Because of our firm’s years of experience handling Civil Service matters, we have gained a very comprehensive understanding of this process. Allow our firm to be your sword and shield!
The Civil Service Commissions of New York:
There are two Civil Service Commissions in the State of New York: The New York City Civil Service Commission & The New York State Civil Service Commission (each county also has a personnel department). These entities hear appeals by government employees and applicants who have been disciplined or disqualified from a position. It is important to note that each Commission has its own independent appeals process (more information below). In most cases, an individual has thirty days to appeal a decision made. Because of this, it is extremely important to contact our office prior to this deadline so we may have ample time to review and prepare the appeal on your behalf. Please remember that some jurisdictions have even shorter, tighter deadlines.
The New York City Civil Service Commission’s Appeals Process:
The NYC CSC decides disqualification appeals on the basis of written submissions by the parties. This includes arguments submitted by the appellant opposing the disqualification, and the record used by the DCAS Commissioner or other examining agency as the basis for the disqualification.
In a limited number of cases, the CSC may, in its own discretion, choose to schedule an evidentiary hearing to allow the appellant an opportunity to make an explanation and submit facts in opposition to the determination of the DCAS Commissioner or other examining agency. At such proceedings, the DCAS Commissioner or other examining agency head will be permitted to defend its determination and offer evidence in support of the disqualification.
Should the CSC schedule an evidentiary hearing, it will notify both parties in a hearing notice. Although not required, in appeals involving complex issues of law, the CSC recommends that appellants obtain the services of an attorney to represent them. The CSC, after reviewing the record and arguments presented on appeal, issues a written decision as soon as practicable. In its decision, the CSC may affirm, modify, reverse or remand the determination being appealed.
The New York State Civil Service Commission’s Appeals Process:
When a completed appeal submission is received, Commission staff will review the appeal to ensure that it was timely filed and that the Commission has jurisdiction over the subject of the appeal. If the Commission does not have jurisdiction over the appeal, Commission staff will transmit a letter via US Certified Mail to the appellant advising that the appeal has not been accepted for review. A lack of jurisdiction over the appeal ends the appellate process.
If the appeal was timely filed and the Commission has jurisdiction over the appeal, Commission staff will transmit a letter via US Certified Mail notifying the appellant that the appeal has been accepted and will be scheduled for presentation to the Commission. The Commission hears appeals once every month (except for August). The Commission may reschedule an appeal as it deems appropriate, with prior notice provided to the affected parties.
The Commission is not required to grant an appellate conference or otherwise personally meet or speak with the appellant or his/her representative when considering an appeal.
If the appeal has been accepted for Commission review, and the Commission determines a conference is necessary, an appellate Conference Attendance Form will also be included with the letter from Commission staff. If an appellant wishes to have an attorney present for the conference, the names of all individuals appearing must also be provided on the Conference Attendance Form.
Appellants who are granted a conference before the Commission are expected to appear on the date and time assigned for the appeal. If an appellant declines, is denied, or fails to appear at a scheduled conference, the Commission will consider the appeal based upon the written record and any presentation from the Department of Civil Service, made at the Commission's request.
Commission conferences are typically held in Albany, New York.
In those cases where an appellant and/or a representative appear before the Commission, they will have the opportunity to present arguments in support of their positions. An appellant may also, as deemed appropriate by the Commission, present the statements of other advocates in support of their position. During the conference, appellants will have the opportunity to hear from, and question, representatives of the Department of Civil Service regarding the appeal.
The Commission may also request that representatives of a State agency appear at appellate conferences involving agency employment matters (for example, employee classification appeals or disqualification of candidates from appointment at a particular State agency). An appellant may be granted an opportunity to respond to information presented by the attending agency during the conference.
The record is typically closed at the conclusion of the conference. The Commission may determine the need for additional information and establish the time periods for submitting new information and appropriate responses. All additional information submitted to the Commission must be in writing. Commission staff will forward copies to all appropriate parties. After receiving all approved submissions, the record on the appeal will be closed.
The Commission does not inform the parties of its decision at the appellate conference. After consideration of all information and arguments presented (including any new information requested and received after the appellate conference), the Commission will deliberate in private and determine whether an appeal shall be granted or denied.
A minimum of two Commissioners are required to hear and determine an appeal. Commission decisions do not have to be unanimous. A vote by a majority of the Commissioners present is required to grant or deny an appeal. In the event of a "tie" decision (a 1-1 vote by the Commissioners, if the Commission has only two members or one of the three Commissioners is absent or abstains), the Department of Civil Service's final determination is deemed upheld and the appeal is denied. All appellate decisions of the Commission will be in writing. Commission staff will notify the appellant, and/or representative, of the final decision by US Certified Mail.
The process can be overwhelming, we know, but rest assured, our firm will be Your Sword & Shield every step of the way. Through multiple cases, our firm has the unique tools and extensive experience to represent you. Furthermore, in the worst-case scenario, our office can explore bringing an Article 78 Proceeding to overturn the government’s adverse decision against you. Should you be the subject of a New York Civil Service Commission disciplinary decision or disqualification, please do not hesitate to contact our firm. Consultations are always FREE and our rates remain competitive. We look forward to speaking with you and getting you the justice, you deserve!