As a right to work state, employees in the private sector are under an “at will” employment policy and may be terminated from their job for any reason at anytime. Civil service employees, on the other hand, must be fired for cause and have the ability to appeal their termination or discipline with the Illinois Civil Service Commission.
Employees wishing to make appeals for termination or discipline must do so in writing within 15-days of the event taking place. Individuals who fail to meet these strict time deadlines may be barred from exercising their legal rights and having their appeal heard.
An appeal for termination must meet several requirements, in addition to the 15-day time deadline. The appeal must list a statement of facts about the case and cite which provisions of the Personnel Code or Rules relating to termination were violated or have not been complied with.
After the commission received the appeal, an investigation will be performed to see if the case has merit. Should the commission believe a substantial issue of fact or law exists which cannot be resolved by investigation, and administrative law judge will be appointed to conduct a hearing.
At the hearing, an attorney may represent employees and call and cross examine witnesses as well as introduce evidence related to the case. Under the law, it is the employee’s burden of proof to prove his or her termination was wrongful. Once the hearing and investigation is completed, the commission will render its decision on the matter.
Civil service employees may appeal suspensions totaling 30-days in a 12 month period. The process for appealing disciplinary action is very similar to that of appealing a termination. Employees must prepare a statement of facts in their appeal and if the commission may appoint an administrative law judge to conduct a hearing where evidence may be introduced and witnesses called.
If you were disciplined or terminated from your state or local employer, contact Goldman & Ehrlich online or call 312.332.6733 for a consultation about your case. Our Illinois civil service employment attorneys have years of experience helping state and local employees appeal their layoffs and suspensions.
Our office services clients throughout Chicago, and all of Cook County, Lake County, DuPage County, Will County, Kane County, and McHenry County. Because strict time deadlines apply to filing these appeals, please contact us at your earliest convenience.