Most public employees have a constitutional right to a pre-termination hearing.
In a decision announcing a Constitutional right for public employees not possessed by private employees, the Supreme Court in Cleveland ruled Board of Education v. Loudermill, 470 US 532 Ed 2d 494 (1985) that most public employees are entitled to a hearing before they are discharged.
However, the hearing is not a full evidentiary hearing and need not include the opportunity to cross examine your accuser(s). All that is required is:
- Oral or written notice of the charges and time for hearing
- An explanation of the employer’s evidence
- An opportunity to present “his or her side of the story
Since the issuance of the Loudermill decision, the lower courts have strictly limited the remedy for Loudermill violations.
Specifically, an employee deprived of his or her Loudermill rights is not entitled to reinstatement if the employer can prove that there was just cause for the discharge in any case.
If you are sent a certified letter or requested by management that you need to fill out a Loudermill report, please notify your field organizer in the Union, committee person and/or steward immediately.
In addition, if management gives you an order to write a Tour of Duty about an employee, co-worker, or a given situation, contact your field organizer at the Union, committee person, and/or steward immediately!