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Employee Rights When Being Disciplined for Misconduct

Depending on whether you work for a public entity or private entity you have rights if you are being faced with accusations of wrongdoing or misconduct differs. Typically, in the public setting or the municipal setting where you work, for example; a town or village, city, county, governmental entity, a school district, those types of situations often require for you to be served with a notice of charges which sets forth specific instances of misconduct or charges on your part. These usually need to be specific and if they are not there are certain things your attorney can do to ask for more particulars and those particulars will probably spell out for you a little bit better about what it is the employer is accusing you of. Following that notice of charges, you then have the right to answer the charges and you also have a right to a hearing. You can determine whether you want to demand a public hearing or often times these things will be kept confidential or private  Going forward to a hearing, you have the right to representation at that hearing with an attorney in of your choice.  You also have the right to call witnesses on your behalf, to cross examine witnesses that are called for the employer to present evidence and to try and rebut any accusations that are being made against you. Some employees feel that they are able to do this on their own and that they feel confident in their position that they are going to be able to clearly show that the accusations are false, however I will caution that typically in these situations hearing officers do follow certain rules of evidence and those rules that they follow. Often times this leaves employees in situations where they are really unable to present the evidence that they think really needs to come across.  It's very important for employees to try and understand this because you can’t undo what you have already done in terms of the hearing. You may be able to get an interim and then try to hire an attorney at that point but its often too late in the day so you really want to have adequate representation, representation that you are comfortable with and that you trust going forward from the beginning so that a strategy can be put in place and followed from the beginning through the finish.

This informational blog post was provided by Kim Berg, an experienced White Plains Employment Lawyer.

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