Adverse Agency Actions
State and local government employees have a legal right to challenge adverse actions.
Murray Law strives to provide state and local employees with experienced counsel and effective representation. Steven Murray has represented prevailing public sector employees in disciplinary and/or performance-based adverse actions before the United States Merit Systems Protection Board, United States Foreign Service Grievance Board, the Career Service Board for the City and County of Denver, and in government agency grievance proceedings. Steven has successfully represented public sector employees in employment and civil rights cases before the United States District Court of Colorado, securing favorable resolutions against the State of Colorado, the United States Government, and local government entities, and obtaining jury verdicts against the City and County of Denver and the United States Government.Defense to Disciplinary & Performance-Based Adverse Actions
The procedural rights of state and local government employees to challenge adverse disciplinary and performance-based adverse actions, through applicable grievance or personnel procedures, vary depending on the public entity employer and the severity of the adverse. State and local government employees confronting adverse agency actions are served by consulting an attorney to develop an effective response to the proposed action and a legal strategy to serve the employee’s personal and professional interests.
Pursuant to Colorado law, state employees have the right to challenge adverse actions before an Administrative Law Judge of the Colorado Personnel Board. This right is provided to employees who have completed a probationary period and achieved certified personnel status in the state personnel system. Employees in this status possess a property right in their employment, and are thereby entitled to due process of law, consisting of a meaningful opportunity to be heard, before any deprivation of their property interest in employment.
A state employee with appeal rights may contest an action that adversely impacts his or her pay rate, status, or tenure, including discharge, suspension, demotion, and reduction in pay. A state employee contesting an adverse action is entitled to a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge with the Colorado Personnel Board. Thereafter, the employee has specific appeal rights to challenge the adverse action in additional proceedings.
Employees of the City and County of Denver have the right to contest personnel actions in appeals to the Career Service Board of the City and County of Denver. The appeal process is available to Denver employees serving in designated career service status. Employees with appeal rights may contest the following actions: (1) dismissal; (2) suspension or temporary reduction in pay; (3) involuntary demotion with an attendant loss of pay; (4) disqualification; and (5) lay-off. A Denver employee filing a proper appeal is entitled to a hearing before a Hearing Officer. Thereafter, the employee has further procedural rights in the Career Service process. The Career Service Rules for the City of Denver provide for a grievance and mediation process, and additional avenues to challenge adverse actions, depending on the employee’s personnel status and the type of personnel action in issue.
Employees serving in the Colorado state personnel system and the Denver career service have the right to file “whistleblower” complaints or appeals. In general, whistleblower complaints challenge unlawful retaliatory actions against an employee, taken by a government agency or department, and/or by the employee’s supervisors, because of the employee’s disclosure of information concerning actions by a government agency and/or government official, which are unlawful, wasteful, or not in the public interest.Conclusion
Murray Law seeks to assist and represent state and local government employees facing adverse employment actions. Please call Steven Murray at 720-600-6642.