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New York Civil Service Disqualifications

Those who wish to join the ranks of civil service must first take and pass a civil service examination. Applicants who wish to become a fireman, police officer, sanitation worker, or any other public service job must prove they are qualified by successfully completing the civil service examination process. If you have been disqualified for a civil service examination, it may be because of one or more reasons. Typically, civil service disqualifications fall into three main categories:

Character Examination Failure

There are many things that may have happened to you in the past that can lead to disqualification on character grounds, such as:

  • a statutory disqualification
  • being convicted of a felony
  • being convicted of a domestic violence misdemeanor
  • being convicted repeatedly for an offense that shows a lack of respect for the law
  • being dishonorably discharged from the Armed Forces

Psychological Examination Failure

Failing either the oral or the written part of the two-part psychological examination will be grounds for disqualification. If you have been disqualified on these grounds, you will have to find a qualified psychologist to evaluate you. If your psychologist’s professional opinion is that you are, indeed, fit for service in the job you applied for, then you may have grounds to appeal your disqualification.

Medical Examination Failure

If you possess a physical disability that would pose a significant disadvantage to you in the performing of your duties in the position you are applying for, you may be disqualified on medical grounds. Suffering from impaired hearing or vision may disqualify you. Remember though: having a disability per se does not disqualify you from civil service examinations. However, if these disabilities would interfere with your intended job, you may be disqualified.

Appealing a Civil Service Exam Disqualification

Within the thirty days after you are notified of the disqualification, you are able to contest or file an appeal. You may wish to consult with a civil service lawyer experienced with handling cases during the appeals process.

You must appeal your disqualification in writing. Draft an appeal letter, or have your attorney draft you one. Together, review the letter, and make sure both of you pay attention to all details. Be sure to review language and make sure that your appeal is legally sound. Additionally, be careful to review facts, dates, and other information to make sure your appeal does not contain false or incorrect information. Mail the letter to the Civil Service Commission, along with any copies of relevant documents or evidence. Upon receipt of your appeal, the Civil Service Commission will send you a letter acknowledging your appeal, and will refer your case to the specific department in charge of appeals for your case.