Cleveland Board of Education v. Loudermill, 470 U.S. 532 (1985), was a United States Supreme Court case in which the Court held that:
- certain public-sector employees can have a property interest in their employment, per Constitutional Due Process. See Board of Regents v. Roth
- this property right entails a right to "some kind of hearing" before being terminated—a right to oral or written notice of charges against them, an explanation of the employer's evidence, and an opportunity to present their sides of the story.
- thus, the pretermination hearing should be an initial check against mistaken decisions—not a full evidentiary hearing, but essentially a determination of whether there are reasonable grounds to believe that the charges against the employee are true and support the proposed action.
- in this case, because the respondents alleged that they had no chance to respond, the District Court erred in dismissing for failure to state a claim.
As a result of the case, public sector employers are required to provide a Loudermill hearing and/or a Loudermill letter before terminating an employee.
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