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State And Local Government Employment Law

Utah Governmental Employees

Nature Of Employment In Utah Public Sector

In many cases, public employees working for city, county, state and other governmental employers generally have greater procedural protection than their fellow workers in the private sector, even though a public employer may restrict an employee's status and procedural rights through human resources (HR) policy, regulations and procedures. Like federal employees, this higher degree of protection is afforded to the employee by the employer after the employee completes a probationary period of employment.

Discipline And Adverse Actions

Our firm is prepared to advise you and evaluate relevant state statute and applicable county
and city ordinances, HR policies, and other rules that may have a significant impact on the
procedural rights you are afforded to contest an adverse action brought by your governmental
employer. Tanner Law Office will help evaluate your case, based on the facts and whether supplemental claims can be supported by the evidence and whether a Notice of Claim, under the Governmental Immunity Act of Utah (Utah Code 63G-7-401), should be filed to preserve your right to pursue the matter in court after administrative proceedings have been exhausted. If you have received an adverse action after you have engaged in whistleblowing conduct, we will assist in evaluating whether you have protection under the Utah whistleblowing statute (the Utah Protection of Public Employees Act, Utah Code 67-21-1, et. Seq.).

Discrimination Claims

If you work for a city, county or state government agency (known as public sector employment), it is critical that you are aware of and follow the rules of your government employer regarding the reporting of discrimination. In addition to these rules, you will have access to the administrative processing of the state. For example, in Utah, you may file your employment discrimination claim with the Utah Antidiscrimination & Labor Division's Employment Discrimination (known as UALD). This office, located within the Utah Labor Commission, is located at 160 East 300 South, third floor, in Salt Lake City, Utah, and may be contacted 800-222-1238 or by email at discrimination@utah.gov.

The processing of your case is very similar to the processing of discrimination claims by employees working for private companies. Under current rules, you must file with UALD within 180 days. You are allowed 300 days to file with the Phoenix Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) regional office. Intake staff assist you in preparing an intake questionnaire, which will generally be reduced to a one- or two-paragraph charge that you will be asked to sign in front of a notary and file with UALD. The signed, notarized charge is generally required to be filed when a decision is made on the timeliness of the charge.

If you would like an attorney to assist you in your case, assuming you have not waited until the 180-day deadline is in danger of passing, we recommend you promptly meet with an attorney experienced in discrimination matters to evaluate your case prior to filing it with UALD. You can go to the Utah Labor Commission website and initially fill out an employment discrimination questionnaire (without filing it). If you take your draft to your meeting with counsel, that meeting may reveal potential claims you had not identified on your own or it may cause you to drop claims which, after closer examination, have insufficient supporting evidence.

Tanner Law Office attorneys can review the information and facts you are aware of in your case, including the reason the employer took an adverse action against you if you were subjected to an official personnel action. We routinely assist clients in filing equal employment opportunity (EEO) claims at the Utah Labor Commission, Antidiscrimination Division (UALD) and advise and represent them throughout the UALD investigative process. If both the client and our office agree to pursue the matter in the Adjudication Division, after the UALD investigation, we provide representation as your case is presented to an administrative judge.

For a confidential consultation about your employment law and other legal issues, call 435-243-7350 or fill out our contact form.

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