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Public employee can’t refuse due-process hearing and sue

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in Employment Law,Human Resources

Here’s encouraging news for public employers: A fired employee can’t sue for deprivation of due process if she refuses to participate when the employer offers a due-process hearing.

Recent case: Wendy worked as an HR manager for Lancaster County. She claimed she was fired because she stood up for disabled citizens. At the time she was terminated, she was offered a hearing to defend herself against allegations that she wasn’t doing her job. She refused to participate in what she saw as a sham due-process hearing.

Then she sued, alleging that she was fired without due process. The court said she couldn’t simply refuse to participate in the hearing her employer was willing to provide and then sue. It dismissed her lawsuit. (Chan v. County of Lancaster, et al., No. 10-CV-03424, ED PA, 2012)

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