Prohibiting from Seeking Redress for Property Interest Statutory Violations Before Sufficient Procedural Process
Is Prohibiting from Seeking Redress for Property Interest Statutory Violations Before Sufficient Procedural Process a Deprivation of Constitutionally Protected Rights ?
In Logan v. Zimmerman Brush, Co., 455 U.S. 422, 71 L. Ed. 2d 265, 102 S. Ct. 1148 (1982), the employee filed a timely charge, but the Commission scheduled the fact-finding conference for a date five days after the 120-day period.
Logan's former employer then moved to dismiss the claim as time-barred.
That motion was denied, but the employer sought a writ of prohibition to prevent the Commission from holding a hearing and ultimately granting Logan relief.
The Illinois Supreme Court granted the writ, finding that the 120-day convening requirement was a jurisdictional prerequisite.
The United States Supreme Court found that Logan's claim was a constitutionally protected property interest and that Logan was entitled to have his complaint processed.
He could not be prevented from doing so by the agency's mishandling of his claim.
In Logan, the Court noted, "The hallmark of property. . . is an individual entitlement grounded in state law, which cannot be removed except 'for cause.' " Id. at 430.
Public employment is a constitutionally protected property interest. See Gilbert v. Homar, 520 U.S. 924, 138 L. Ed. 2d 120, 117 S. Ct. 1807 (1997); Board of Regents v. Roth, 408 U.S. 564, 569-70, 33 L. Ed. 2d 548, 92 S. Ct. 2701 (1972). the Florida Civil Rights Act, sections 760.01-760.11 (1995), was created to protect that property interest.
It follows that violations of the Act are themselves deprivations of a property interest.
The Act demonstrates the Legislature's intent that one claiming a deprivation under its terms would have the Commission make a preliminary reasonable cause determination, notify the claimant of its findings, and inform the claimant of the possible next steps that can be taken. See 760.11(3)- (4).
Prohibiting claimants from seeking redress for statutory violations of this interest prior to allowing them sufficient procedural due process--both notice and the opportunity to be heard--constitutes a deprivation of constitutionally protected rights.