The due process clause of the 14th Amendment guarantees that no state put into effect a law that deprives any person of “life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.”

What this means when it comes to employment law is that all public employees must receive due process when they are terminated. In a nutshell this means that all public employees have a right to know when their job is being taken away and to be able to defend their right to keep their jobs (so that they are not deprived of their property- which is their salary or wage).

Who is a public employee?

Examples of public employees include:

  • Law enforcement
  • Firefighters
  • Health officers
  • Teachers
  • Professors
  • Judges
  • Medical examiners
  • Superintendents

With most municipal employment contracts, public employees should expect to receive a notice and termination hearing before they are let go from their position.

What happens at a termination hearing?

Termination meetings vary greatly depending on the municipality, circumstances and the applicable local, state and federal laws. Because this area of law is complex and requires a high level of understanding of local, state and federal law, employees facing such a hearing are best served by enlisting the help of an experienced employment law attorney or firm.