Public Employees

Special rules apply to certain government employees that give them different rights from private sector employees. Attorney Tim Coffield represents and advises public employees in a variety of employment situations.

The laws applicable to public employees often differ in significant ways from those protecting private employees. These differences include:

  • Public employees often have access to special grievance procedures, allowing them to fight terminations or other employment decisions that do not necessarily violate the law;
  • Lawsuits against governments for violations of employment laws may raise issues of sovereign immunity, where the government claims it cannot be sued;
  • Laws governing overtime compensation have special provisions regarding compensatory time that apply only to public employees;
  • Under the First Amendment’s free speech provisions, with some caveats, public employees generally cannot be terminated or penalized for speaking out as private citizens on matters of public concern;
  • Laws governing overtime compensation have special provisions that apply only to law enforcement and fire protection personnel;
  • Whistleblower protection laws may protect certain public employees from retaliation for reporting misuse of taxpayer funds.

Since government agencies have powerful resources available to them, it is important to have capable representation on your side to help fight unfair or illegal conduct by public employers.

Here are examples of issues that may implicate the special rights of public employees:

  • You are a non-probationary government employee, and your agency’s policies provide for a progressive discipline procedure. But your boss terminates you for a minor infraction, without following the progressive procedure;
  • You are a non-probationary government employee, and your agency terminates you without providing a reason;
  • You are a government employee, and your boss terminates you for expressing political views on your private social media;
  • You are a non-exempt government employee, and your agency does not pay 1.5 times your regular rate or provide 1.5 hours of compensatory time for each hour of overtime you work, on or off the clock;
  • You are a non-exempt government employee, and your agency fails to pay you for accrued compensatory time at termination;
  • You are a law enforcement or fire protection employee of an agency having 100 or more employees, and your agency does not pay you overtime compensation or leave at 1.5 times your regular rate for hours worked in excess of your regularly-schedule hours;
  • You are a law enforcement or fire protection employee, and you are concerned your agency may not be complying with the special rules federal and state rules regarding overtime compensation for law enforcement and fire protection employees.

Let us help you!

Contact Tim today for a consultation.



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Call : (1)2345-2345-5

If you have questions about your rights as a state or local government employee, attorney Tim Coffield is here to discuss your situation.

info@coffieldlaw.com