What is Due Process in the Federal Civil Service Employment?

What is Due Process in the Federal Civil Service Employment?
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This report explains the interaction between the U.S. Constitution and adverse personnel actions in a merit-based civil service. It discusses the current civil service laws for adverse actions and the history behind their formation. It also addresses why the Constitution requires that any system to remove a public employee for cause must include: (1) an opportunity for the individual to know the charges and present a defense; and (2) the ability to appeal a removal decision before an impartial adjudicator. The report also contains an appendix that corrects some misperceptions people may have about how the current civil service operates.

Table of Contents

Executive Summary i

Introduction 1

Chapter One: Development of Federal Employee Rights 3

The Spoils System 3

The Pendleton Act of 1883  5

The Lloyd-La Follette Act of 1912  5

The Veterans’ Preference Act of 1944  7

President Kennedy’s Executive Order in 1962  9

The Civil Service Reform Act of 1978   9

Chapter Two: Loudermill and Progeny 13

The Loudermill Case 13

Loudermill Applies to Federal Government 18

Loudermill and Suspensions 23

Chapter Three: The Statutory Procedures 27

Suspensions of 14 Days or Less 27

Suspensions of More than 14 Days, Demotions, and Removals 27

Chapter Four: Efforts to Modify the System 33

Government-Wide Modifications 33

Agency-Specific Modifications 36

Conclusion 39

Appendix A: Clearing up the Confusion 41

Appendix B: The Statutory Process Flowcharts

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