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Termination hearing time limit

Published (3/9/2012)
By Sue Hegarty
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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 ticking — 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 bill approved by the House Veterans Services Division March 5 would change the process to ensure a timely hearing. HF2495 would require the employee being terminated to identify within the 60 days who they want to represent them before the three-person panel. 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, they waive the right to a hearing and all other remedies available for reinstatement of employment.

Rep. Bruce Anderson (R-Buffalo Township) sponsors the bill, which was referred to the House floor. Sen. Doug Magnus (R-Slayton) sponsors SF2316, a Senate companion.

Under current law, only the veteran can appeal a panel’s decision. A second provision in the bill would also enable the employer to appeal.

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