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5 N.J.A.R. 318

Koehler, Richard v. Community Affairs, Division on Aging, Department of
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Citation: 5 N.J.A.R. 318
Decision Date: 1981
Agency: CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION
Synopsis: Richard Koehler appealed from a 15-day disciplinary suspension imposed by his employer for his failure to dress in a manner ap- propriate to his position. Koehler was employed as a Program De- velopment Specialist in the Division on Aging in the Department of Community Affairs. The administrative law judge assigned to the case found that during the period 1979 through 1980, Koehler's appearance was characterized by dirty, wrinkled and frayed clothing. This choice of clothing substantially impaired his ability to perform his job duties and caused local officials with whom he worked to eschew his expertise. As a consequence, petitioner's ability to perform his duties or fulfill his responsibilities was substantially reduced. In addition, the judge found that Koehler was adequately apprised of the shortcomings of his appearance. The judge noted that it is clear that a civil service employer may impose upon its employees dress requirements which are reasonably related to job performance. While there was no explicit dress code in the case before him the judge determined, however, that Koehler had been afforded more than adequate notice. Accordingly, based on N.J.A.C 4:1-16.7(a), the administrative law judge affirmed Koehler's suspension. Richard D. Barker, Esq., for petitioner Peter Markens, Deputy Attorney General, for respondent (James R. Zazzali, Attorney General, New Jersey, attorney) State of New Jersey 319
Citation Tracker adopted-Civil Service Comm.; dismissed-App. Div., A-3380-82, 12/9/82 (unreported) [Updated through 1991]