In cities or counties where there are civil service boards or merit system authorities, a military veteran employed in a public service job has certain rights before he or she can be terminated. The employer must first notify the employee, which starts the clock. Within 60 days, the employee can request a hearing.
Where there is no board or authority, a three-person panel is appointed. The employee chooses one representative to serve on the panel; the employer chooses one representative; and the third panelist is a mutually agreed upon person.
A new law will change the hearing process to ensure a timely hearing. It will require the employee being terminated to identify within 60 days who they want to represent him or her at a three-person panel hearing. In some instances, hearings have been delayed for months or years because the employee did not provide a name.
If the employee does not produce a panel representative within the 60 days required, he or she will waive the right to a hearing and all other remedies available for reinstatement of employment.
Under current law, only the veteran can appeal a panel’s decision. A second provision in the law will enable the employer to also appeal.
Rep. Bruce Anderson (R-Buffalo Township) and Sen. Doug Magnus (R-Slayton) sponsor the law, which is effective Aug. 1, 2012.