This is a list of FAQs only. You are encouraged to read the Hillsborough County Employee Discipline Appeal Process for complete information about the appeal process. You can also view the page for a summary of the employee discipline appeal process, which includes links to forms for the process.
I just received notice that my employer is taking me to a pre-disciplinary hearing, and I have some questions. Who should I contact?
If you have questions about your agency’s pre-disciplinary hearing process, contact your Human Resources department.
After my pre-disciplinary hearing, I received a Notice of Discipline form from my employer indicating I was suspended, demoted or dismissed from employment. Can I appeal this decision?
Tenured employees in a covered Hillsborough County agency (also known as an appointing authority) are employees that have satisfactorily completed the required probationary period and have a right to appeal their suspension, demotion or dismissal. Tenured employees may be referred to in your agency as “classified” employees. If you’re not sure if you’re a tenured employee, you should check with your Human Resources department or you may also contact the Appeal Intake Office for guidance.
If you are a tenured employee and you have been issued a Notice of Discipline from your employer after a pre-disciplinary hearing indicating you have been suspended, demoted or dismissed, you are eligible to appeal this decision. See page 8 of the Hillsborough County Employee Discipline Appeal Process for more information regarding eligibility for appeal.
Is there a cost for me to appeal my suspension, demotion or dismissal?
Discipline appeal proceedings are paid for by Hillsborough County. However, if you wish to be represented by an attorney at your appeal hearing, you are responsible for your own attorney’s fees. The County is also not responsible any other personal expenses you may incur related to your appeal hearing. You are also responsible for any costs associated with servicing a subpoena (including witness fee and expenses) if you are the serving party.
Who do I call if I have questions about the discipline appeal process?
If you have questions about the discipline appeal process, contact Hillsborough County’s Appeal Intake Office at (813) 274-1626, via email at EmployeeAppeal@HCFLGov.net, or visit in person at County Center, 601 E. Kennedy Blvd., 17th Floor, Tampa, FL 33602.
How long do I have to file an appeal of my suspension, demotion or dismissal?
You have ten (10) calendar days after receiving a Notice of Discipline from your employer to file an appeal. You have the option to mail, hand deliver, or electronically submit your Request for Appeal (see links section). Your Request for Appeal form must be received by the Appeal Intake Office by the deadline, including appeal requests that are submitted by mail. For example, if your employer delivers you a Notice of Discipline on September 2nd your completed Request for Appeal form must be received by the Appeal Intake Office by September 12th.
Now that the Civil Service Board has been dissolved, who will preside over my discipline appeal hearing?
Appeals Referees with labor and employment experience will preside over Hillsborough County employee discipline appeal hearings. These individuals are experienced in presiding over discipline disputes. As required under Florida Law, these Appeals Referees will be part of a fair, neutral and impartial system of employee discipline appeals.
Who appoints the Appeals Referees?
Appeals Referees are appointed by an independent service called the American Arbitration Association (AAA). This independent service will establish and maintain a list of qualified individuals to serve as Appeals Referees in Hillsborough County employee discipline appeal hearings. Upon request of the Appeal Intake Office, the independent service will assign an individual to serve as an Appeals Referee from the list. Individuals will be selected by the independent service on a rotating basis with consideration of availability.
Hillsborough County and the appointing authorities will not have any input into the individuals placed on this list or into which Appeals Referees are assigned to preside over discipline appeal hearings. This ensures a fair, neutral and impartial process for both parties.
Can I be represented by an attorney at my appeal hearing?
Yes, you have the option to be represented by an attorney at your appeal hearing. You must notify the Appeal Intake Office if you will be represented by an attorney and provide his/her contact information to ensure proper communication during discipline appeal proceedings.
If you are represented by an attorney, your attorney’s fees are your responsibility and will not be paid by Hillsborough County.
Where will appeal hearings take place?
Discipline appeal hearings will take place in a neutral county facility convenient to all parties, such as a public library or other county building with accommodations suitable for an appeal hearing. All interested and required parties will be appropriately notified of the appeal hearing location by the Appeal Intake Office in advance of the hearing.
I received notice that Hillsborough County filed a motion for summary judgment for my discipline appeal request. The Discipline Appeal Process states I can respond “in writing” to the County’s motion for summary judgment, but if I do respond what information should I provide?
In a motion for summary judgment, the moving party (Hillsborough County) is asserting there is no genuine issue of material fact; and Hillsborough County is entitled to prevail as a matter of law. In support of a motion for summary judgment, the County’s motion must be supported by written testimony (i.e. under oath, in the form of an affidavit, declaration, a deposition, or hearing transcript from another proceeding), supporting documentation, or other admissible evidence. All supporting documentation must be properly authenticated.
As the opposing party, you are entitled to file a written response with the Appeal Intake Office within 15 days of receipt of the motion that disputes any statement offered by the County in its motion for summary judgment. Likewise, your response disputing any statement must also be supported by written testimony, supporting documentation, or other admissible evidence as explained above, and must be properly authenticated.
When will my appeal hearing take place? Will it be at night or during normal business hours?
An appeal hearing will be scheduled within 60 calendar days after the Appeal Intake Office receives a request for appeal, unless a motion to dismiss or motion for summary judgment has been filed or by mutual consent of the parties. Typically, hearings will be scheduled during normal business hours. However, accommodations can be schedule at a time outside normal business hours if needed.
I would like to subpoena witnesses to appear on my behalf at my discipline appeal hearing. How do I do that?
Contact the Appeal Intake Office for assistance with subpoenas and to obtain subpoena forms (see links section).
See page 11 of the Hillsborough County Employee Discipline Appeal Process for more information about subpoenas.
What should I bring to my appeal hearing?
You must bring a minimum of five hard copies of the supporting documentation and evidence to the evidentiary appeal hearing, including all exhibits. The exhibits should be appropriately labeled and tabbed separately and include an indexed list of such exhibits and a brief description of each exhibit.
For more information about the evidentiary appeal hearing process and the pre-hearing conference call, see pages 11 through 14 of the Hillsborough County Employee Discipline Appeal Process.
My appeal hearing just ended. When will I know the final decision?
The Appeals Referee will issue a written decision to the affected parties no later than 30 calendar days after the conclusion of the evidentiary appeal hearing.