Christian v. New York State Dept. of Labor - 414 U.S. 614 (1974)
U.S. Supreme Court
Christian v. New York State Dept. of Labor, 414 U.S. 614 (1974)
Christian v. New York State Dept. of Labor
Argued November 13, 1973
Decided January 21, 1974
414 U.S. 614
Appellants, former federal probationary employees who were denied benefits under the Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees Program, brought this action in District Court seeking declaratory and injunctive relief against provisions of the Program and its implementing regulations that they contended operated to deny them a hearing on the factual basis for their removal from federal service, for the purpose of determining their eligibility under state law for unemployment compensation. They claimed that the Act requires such a hearing and, alternatively, that the denial of a hearing deprived them of due process and equal protection. A three-judge District Court held that the statute does not require a hearing to contest the employing agency's findings; dismissed the constitutional claims against the federal defendants for lack of subject matter jurisdiction; and held that the state agency's denial of a hearing did not violate the Due Process or Equal Protection Clauses.
Held: Any decision upon appellants' statutory or constitutional claims would be premature in view of the fact that the record does not disclose that the state agency, in notifying appellants of the adverse determinations, informed them, as it was required to do by the applicable regulation, of their "right to additional information or reconsideration and correction" of the findings by the employing agencies; or that appellants invoked the available procedure entitling them to request their agencies "to reconsider and correct" those findings. The District Court's dismissal of the suit as to both federal and state defendants is therefore vacated with directions that the court determine whether appellants should be permitted to invoke the applicable administrative procedures. Pp. 414 U. S. 618-624.
347 F.Supp. 1158, vacated and remanded.
BRENNAN, J., delivered the opinion for a unanimous Court.