ASSEMBLY, No. 2955

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

214th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED JUNE 17, 2010

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblyman  ANTHONY M. BUCCO

District 25 (Morris)

Assemblyman  GARY R. CHIUSANO

District 24 (Sussex, Hunterdon and Morris)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Limits right of appeal of disciplinary action taken by employer against certain public employees.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Act concerning appeals of certain disciplinary action taken against public employees, and amending various sections of the statutory law.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    N.J.S.11A:2-14 is amended to read as follows:

     11A:2-14.  Notice to employee of right to appeal, alternative procedures.

     Except as otherwise provided herein, within 20 days of the hearing provided in N.J.S.11A:2-13, the appointing authority shall make a final disposition of the charges against the employee and shall furnish the employee with written notice.  If the appointing authority determines that the employee is to be removed, demoted or receive a suspension or a fine greater than [five] 30 working days, the employee shall have a right to appeal to the Civil Service Commission.  [The suspension or fine of an employee for five days or less shall be appealable if an employee's aggregate number of days suspended or fined in any one calendar year is 15 days or more.  Where an employee receives more than three suspensions or fines of five or less days in a calendar year, the last suspension or fine is appealable.]

     When the State of New Jersey and the majority representative have agreed pursuant to the New Jersey Employer-Employee Relations Act, section 7 of P.L.1968, c.303 (C.34:13A-5.3), to a disciplinary review procedure that provides for binding arbitration of disputes involving disciplinary action in subsection a.(1), (2) and (3) of N.J.S.11A:2-6, which would be otherwise appealable to the Civil Service Commission under N.J.S.11A:2-14, being taken against a permanent employee in the career service or a person serving a working test period, such procedure shall be the exclusive procedure for any appeal of such disciplinary action.

(cf: P.L.2008, c.119, s.11)

 

     2.    N.J.S.11A:2-16 is amended to read as follows:

     11A:2-16.  Appeal procedure for suspension or fine of five days or less.

     If a State employee receives a suspension or fine of [five] 30 working days or less, the employee may request review by the Civil Service Commission under standards and procedures established by the Civil Service Commission or appeal pursuant to an alternate appeal procedure where provided by a negotiated contract provision.  If an employee of a political subdivision receives a suspension or fine of [five] 30 working days or less, the employee may request review under standards and procedures established by the political subdivision or appeal pursuant to an alternate appeal procedure where provided by a negotiated contract provision.

(cf: P.L.2008, 29, s.13)

 

     3.    N.J.S.40A:14-22 is amended to read as follows:

     40A:14-22.  Any member or officer of a paid or part-paid fire department or force in a municipality wherein Title 11A, Civil Service, of the New Jersey Statutes [is not in operation] has not been adopted, who has been tried and convicted upon any charge or charge, resulting in a suspension of 30 working days or more,  may obtain a review thereof by the Superior Court; provided, however, a firefighter who is qualified under the provisions of section 10 of P.L.2009, c.16 (C.40A:14-209) may appeal removal from his office, employment or position for a complaint or charges, other than a complaint or charges relating to a criminal offense, by submitting an appeal to arbitration pursuant to section 10 of P.L.2009, c.16 (C.40A:14-209) in lieu of serving a written notice seeking a review of that removal by the court.  Such review shall be obtained by serving a written notice of an application therefor upon the officer or board whose action is to be reviewed within 10 days after written notice to the member or officer of the conviction.  The officer or board shall transmit to the court a copy of the record of such conviction, and of the charge or charges for which the applicant was tried. The court shall hear the cause de novo on the record below and may either affirm, reverse or modify such conviction.  If the applicant shall have been removed from his office, employment or position the court may direct that he be restored to such office, employment or position and to all his rights pertaining thereto, and may make such other order or judgment as said court shall deem proper.

     Either party may supplement the record with additional testimony subject to the rules of evidence.

(cf: P.L.2009, c.16, s.15)

 

     4.    N.J.S.40A:14-150 is amended to read as follows:

     40A:14-150.  Any member or officer of a police department or force in a municipality wherein Title 11A, Civil Service, of the New Jersey Statutes [is not in operation] has not been adopted, who has been tried and convicted upon any charge or charges, resulting in a suspension of 30 working days or more, may obtain a review thereof by the Superior Court; provided, however, that in the case of an officer who is appealing removal from his office, employment or position for a complaint or charges, other than a complaint or charges relating to a criminal offense, the officer may, in lieu of serving a written notice seeking a review of that removal by the court, submit his appeal to arbitration pursuant to section 10 of P.L.2009, c.16 (C.40A:14-209).  Such review shall be obtained by serving a written notice of an application therefor upon the officer or board whose action is to be reviewed within 10 days after written notice to the member or officer of the conviction.  The officer or board shall transmit to the court a copy of the record of such conviction, and of the charge or charges for which the applicant was tried.  The court shall hear the cause de novo on the record below and may either affirm, reverse or modify such conviction.  If the applicant shall have been removed from his office, employment or position the court may direct that he be restored to such office, employment or position and to all his rights pertaining thereto, and may make such other order or judgment as said court shall deem proper.

     Either party may supplement the record with additional testimony subject to the rules of evidence.

(cf: P.L.2009, c.16, s.14)

 

     5.    This act shall take effect immediately, but shall remain inoperative with respect to its application against any employee subject to a collective negotiated agreement, until the expiration of that negotiated agreement.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill would modify the jurisdiction of the Civil Service Commission and the Superior Court to consider appeals of disciplinary actions taken against State employees or police officers and firefighters in municipalities that have not adopted Civil Service rules.  Under the bill, the Civil Service Commission and the Superior Court would have jurisdiction to hear an appeal by a State employee, police officer or firefighter only when the disciplinary action results in the employee being suspended for 30 working days or more.  Current law provides police officers and firefighters with an automatic right of appeal to the Superior Court without regard for the severity of the disciplinary action taken.

     This bill would take effect immediately, but will remain inoperative, so as not to impair an existing contract, in any situation governed by an existing collectively negotiated contract, until the expiration of the contract.