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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. SANDRA L. CAHAN (05/20/76)

decided: May 20, 1976.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, PHILADELPHIA COUNTY BOARD OF ASSISTANCE, DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WELFARE
v.
SANDRA L. CAHAN, APPELLANT



Appeal from the Order of the State Civil Service Commission in case of Sandra L. Cahan v. Philadelphia County Board of Assistance, Department of Public Welfare, No. 1638.

COUNSEL

Eric B. Chaikin, with him Pechner, Sacks, Dorfman, Wolffe, Moss & Rounick, for appellant.

Cecil Maidman, Deputy Attorney General, with him Michael von Moschzisker, Deputy Attorney General, and Robert P. Kane, Attorney General, for appellee.

Judges Crumlish, Jr., Rogers and Blatt, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Blatt.

Author: Blatt

[ 24 Pa. Commw. Page 544]

Sandra L. Cahan, appellant, was employed as a Clerk Typist II with the Tioga District of the Philadelphia County Board of Assistance (Board). On September 27, 1974, she was promoted to an Income Maintenance Worker Trainee and transferred to the Board's Girard District. While still a probationary employe, she received a Performance Evaluation Report, dated February 25, 1975, from her immediate supervisor, Clara B. Brown, which rated her as "standard" in one category of the evaluation and "below standard" in six other categories and recommended either an involuntary demotion to Clerk II or a 3-month extension of Cahan's probationary

[ 24 Pa. Commw. Page 545]

    period. Pursuant then to Sections 603*fn1 and 706*fn2 of the Civil Service Act*fn3 (Act), she was involuntarily demoted to Clerk II effective March 14, 1975 due to her "unsatisfactory job performance." A timely appeal of the demotion was taken to the State Civil Service Commission (Commission) under Section 951(b) of the Act,*fn4 71 P.S.

[ 24 Pa. Commw. Page 546]

§ 741.951, alleging a violation of Section 905.1 of the Act, 71 P.S. § 741.905a, which provides as follows:

"No officer or employee of the Commonwealth shall discriminate against any person in recruitment, examination, appointment, training, promotion, retention or any other personnel action with respect to the classified service because of political or religious opinions or affiliations because of labor union affiliations or because of race, national origin or other non-merit factors."

It was alleged that the demotion was the result of discrimination against the appellant because of her sex, her prior police record and the personal animosity of the district supervisor. A hearing was held on April 29, 1975 and, on July 9, 1975, the Commission issued its adjudication dismissing the appeal and sustaining the demotion after concluding "[t]hat the demotion of the appellant was for unsatisfactory work performance as provided for in Section 706 of the Civil Service Act". The appeal to this Court argues that the Commission's findings of fact are not supported by substantial evidence and are contrary, in fact, to the evidence contained in the record.

Our scope of review regarding a State Civil Service Commission adjudication is limited to a determination of whether or not the constitutional rights of the appellant have been violated, an error of law has been committed or a necessary finding of fact was ...


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