Public Sector Employees: What Are Your Rights?

States have the power to show leadership against acts of discrimination, starting with their own public sector workers. Public employees who work within the Ohio Civil Service have extensive and specific rights that many private sector employees do not. These rights fall into three categories:

  1. Classified civil service covered by a union agreement (most protections)
  2. Classified civil service not covered by a union agreement
  3. Unclassified civil service (fewest protections)

Rights Of Unclassified Employees

Many problems arise within the third group, the unclassified civil service employees. They generally are subject to firing without cause. Unclassified employees include:

  • Officers elected by popular vote
  • Heads of principal departments, boards and commissions appointed by the governor or a mayor
  • Assistants to the attorney general
  • Assistants to county prosecuting attorneys
  • Fire chiefs
  • Chiefs of police

Classification is not always clear. Your employer may list you as unclassified when your position qualifies in every way as classified, according to the types of duties you perform.

If you are having issues with your employment and are listed as unclassified because of 124.11(A)(9), contact us at Mowery Youell & Galeano, Ltd. You may have more rights under Ohio law than your employer has told you.

Rights Of Classified Employees

Ohio public employees in the classified civil service have specific legal protections regarding:

  • Unwarranted discipline
  • Termination
  • Layoff
  • Transfer
  • Other changes in the terms and conditions of employment

Generally, classified employees can be removed only for good cause. Further, the courts have determined that classified employees in Ohio have a property interest in their positions and cannot be removed from their positions without "due process of law."

Due process usually means that classified employees are entitled to reasonable notice and a hearing with their employer before any significant disciplinary action is taken.

Ohio government and public employees in the classified civil service who are not covered by a union bargaining agreement have a right to appeal actions that seem unfair before the Ohio State Personnel Board of Review.

You can appeal suspensions, terminations, disability separations, layoffs, abolishments, displacements, reclassifications, transfers and reductions in pay or position. There are strict deadlines for appealing these actions. For more information about deadlines, contact us.

Rights Of Classified Employees Covered By A Union Bargaining Agreement

For Ohio public employees who are covered by a union's bargaining agreement, most of their rights regarding the terms and conditions of employment are set out in that agreement.

As each bargaining agreement may contain different grievance procedures, consult the employment law attorneys at Mowery Youell & Galeano, Ltd.

Rights Of Employees In The Federal Civil Service

Ohio is also home to many federal agencies, military bases and employers. Federal employees have a complex and extensive series of employment protections. The employment and labor law attorneys at Mowery Youell & Galeano, Ltd., can help you navigate these protections.

For more information, contact a lawyer at our firm. From our office in Dublin, we represent clients throughout the Columbus metro area and central Ohio.