Public employers hope that every new employee they hire will be a good fit in their office. And they expect that all of their current employees will continue to serve the mission of the office effectively and cooperatively. Sometimes it works out that way and sometimes it doesn’t.
Occasionally, employers find that some employees either cannot or will not perform the work that they were hired to do. When counseling fails, discipline in the form of a reprimand, suspension, demotion, or termination may follow. But when facing these types of actions, public employees often have rights and remedies generally not available to private sector employees. This article briefly discusses (1) the rights and remedies that employees have when working in the private sector, (2) the additional rights and remedies typically enjoyed by public employees, (3) the impact of the “due process” clause on public sector employers and employees, and (4) forms of recovery available to public sector employees.