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How to Appeal | *Rules of Practice | | Appeal Flow Chart

FORMS: APPEAL - PETITION FOR REVIEW


 

How to File an Appeal

Who may appeal to the Commission & for what issues

  1. Any regular, Civil Service employee who is suspended, demoted or discharged may appeal such action to the Commission which hears the case and determines whether the action was for just cause.

  2. Any disciplined employee who is alleged to have Probationary, TES or Intermittent status may appeal to the Commission the question of his/her status, and whether the procedures for discharge, as defined in the Personnel Rules, were properly followed.

  3. Any individual or department which is adversely affected by an alleged violation of Article XVI of the City Charter, the Personnel Ordinance, the Personnel Rules, or the administration of the personnel system may appeal such violation to the Commission.

  4. Any individual or department alleging that there has been undue influence exercised in the hiring process may request that the Commission conduct an investigation of the hiring practices involved.

  5. Any individual or department alleging a failure by the City to follow established laws, rules policies and/or procedures when administering the personnel system in such areas as classifications, performance appraisals, overtime, hiring, work out-of-class, transfers, lay-offs, and other similar issues in which the application of personnel policies and procedures may apply.

The Hearing Process

  • The Commission accepts cases that are timely filed and within its jurisdiction.

  • Often employees contact the Commission to determine whether a given issue meets the requirements for filing an appeal.

  • Frequently, the Commission listens to the complaint, provides advice when appropriate, accepts the appeal, and/or refers the employee to another agency that is equipped to handle the problem. These referrals include such groups as the Office of Civil Rights, the Employee Assistance Program; the Citys Labor Relations Division and the Ethics Commission.

  • Once a case is accepted for review, a pre-hearing conference is held to establish the issues and to determine whether the appeal can be resolved outside of the formal hearing process. The Commission is a strong proponent of alternative dispute resolution as a cost-effective method that results in an improved work environment and increased communication between the parties.

  • If the parties do not agree on the issues or on a means of alternative dispute resolution such as settlement agreements or mediation, a second pre-hearing conference is held. During this conference, both sides present their evidence and witness lists to the Hearing Examiner. The evidence is marked as exhibits for the hearing. The parties will have reviewed each others materials in advance and may object to their inclusion at this time. Depending on the nature of the dispute, the parties are also encouraged again to utilize an alternative dispute resolution process.

  • A schedule for holding the hearing is agreed upon by the parties. The Commission delegates the responsibility for holding hearings, at this stage of the process, to a Hearing Examiner.

  • Employees generally represent themselves and departments do likewise. Employees may be represented by anyone of their choosing. When an employee engages the services of an attorney, the Law Department represents the City.

  • The Hearing Examiner issues a decision within 90 days of the date of the completion of the Hearing. If a decision is not issued within that period, and no extension has been granted, the appellant will prevail.

  • Employees may file a Petition For Review Of Hearing Examiners Petition. Such petitions must be based on one or more of the following:
Material Error or Mistake of Fact
Mistake of Law
Misapplication of Law, Rule, or Regulation
Decision Fails to do Substantial Justice

 

  • The Commission reviews these petitions and makes a decision as to whether it will hold a hearing or review the case on the written record. The Commission issues a written decision. If the Commission upholds the Hearing Examiner, appellants may file a motion for Reconsideration of Commission Decision. In these cases, the Commission is asked to review its own decision based on fraud, mistake, or misconception of facts.

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General Information: CSC@seattle.gov