August 4, 2011

Fed court: Fired Calif. bus driver deserved hearing

SAN FRANCISCO — The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled that Kerry Walls, a driver for the Central Contra Costa Transit Authority since 1995, should have been given a hearing before he was fired in 2006 for failing to show up for work, SFGate reported.

After being fired in January 2006 for unauthorized absences, which Walls attributed to illness, he filed a grievance through his union. The agency reinstated him under an agreement that said he would be fired for any unexcused absences over the next three months. A day after returning to work, he was absent again, saying afterward that he was suffering from depression and sleep deprivation.

Claiming he had waived his right to the hearing that public employees normally receive before termination, the agency fired him. The court overruled a previous ruling, saying that Walls had not relinquished his constitutional right to a hearing. For the full story, click here.

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