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Performance Management
Garrity Rights
 
In the case of Garrity v. New Jersey, (1967) the U.S. Supreme Court determined that public employees could not be forced under threat of discipline, to incriminate themselves as this violates a person’s rights under the 5th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. This decision established what has come to be known as “Garrity Rights” for public employees.
 
The Garrity rule is somewhat similar to Miranda rights. Employees have certain rights when they are compelled under threat of discipline, to provide the employer with self-incriminating information about possible criminal conduct.  These rights are generally asserted when an employee believes they are being investigated for possible criminal conduct. Once an employee has asserted Garrity rights, it is recommended that management stop the meeting and consult with Department of Justice (DOJ) Labor and Employment.  Contact DOJ at 503-947-4600.
 
It is recommended that DOJ Labor and Employment be involved in any matter involving potential or real criminal conduct of an employee, prior to interviewing an involved employee. Failure to do so could restrict future disciplinary action by the employer and jeopardize a District Attorney’s ability to prosecute criminal acts.