Guidance for Settling Civil Service Cases

Parties to civil service litigation are encouraged to craft settlement agreements that meet their needs; nonetheless, settlements must receive approval from the Civil Service Commission. As a matter of practice, the Commission routinely withholds approval where the settlement omits important information:

  1. The settlement must refer to the Final Notice of Disciplinary Action, since it determines which charges were upheld by the appointing authority and were appealed to the Commission. A reference to the Preliminary Notice of Disciplinary Action is insufficient.

  2. A settlement must spell out what happens to every charge. If there is more than one charge and the settlement addresses only one of them, the settlement will not be acceptable to the Commission.

  3. If the settlement includes a suspension, it must explain what happens to every single day of the suspension. For example, it must specify if there is a leave without pay, or if sick leave is to be used, and the number of days of each.

  4. The settlement CANNOT state that an employee will receive pension credit or civil service seniority for time for which that employee was not and will not be paid. The law does not allow pension credit or seniority for unpaid time.

  5. If the settlement requires a fitness-for-duty examination, it must state what will happen if the employee fails the exam, or the Commission will view the settlement as incomplete. It may be preferable to place the case on the inactive list until such time as the examination has occurred, and the parties can either finalize the settlement or go forward with the hearing.

Sample forms for state and local government use are available on this website.  As always, parties are free to create their own settlement documents.  The forms are offered for the convenience of parties to ensure that they address all the issues necessary to close the matter.