Reno loses battle over firing of parks director
August 3, 2002
The Nevada Supreme Court has reversed a district court order allowing the City of Reno to fire Parks Director David Pressler.
He was terminated in January 1998 after 26 years with the city. But he was terminated after passage of a 1997 law removed protections preventing his firing except for cause.
Pressler argued the law changing his position to “at will” was never intended to be applied to employees who were hired before the legal change. The high court agreed.
According to the opinion, at will employees have no legal protections from being fired. They said that wasn’t the case for Pressler because he had been protected as an employee who could only be fired for cause for more than 20 years.
“Employees who may be terminated only for cause have a constitutionally protected property interest and are entitled to due process before being deprived of that interest,” the opinion states.