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PETER L. SCUOTEGUAZZA v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (01/31/77)

decided: January 31, 1977.

PETER L. SCUOTEGUAZZA, APPELLANT
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION. HOWARD ALAN BUSH ET AL., APPELLANTS V. COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION. COUNCIL 13, AMERICAN FEDERATION OF STATE, COUNTY & MUNICIPAL EMPLOYEES, AFL-CIO, INTERVENING APPELLEE. GEORGE D. TRUAX, APPELLANT V. COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION. FRED M. WIBLE, APPELLANT V. COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION. R. M. BUFALINI, GARY HAYDEN AND KENNETH A. SHARP, APPELLANTS V. COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION. JOHN P. MCCLUSKEY ET AL., APPELLANTS V. COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION. GEORGE P. HUNT, APPELLANT V. COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION



Appeals from the Order of the State Civil Service Commission in case of Requests for Appeal and Hearing in Re: Peter L. Scuoteguazza, Appeal No. 1848; Howard Alan Bush, Appeal No. 1824; David L. Coles, Appeal No. 1827; Harold T. Cunningham, Appeal No. 1830; James W. Heffran, Appeal No. 1836; Donald Law, Sr., Appeal No. 1839; James W. McDade, Appeal No. 1842; Joseph R. Panone, Appeal No. 1844; Kenneth D. Spaw, Appeal No. 1849; George D. Truax, Appeal No. 1882; Fred M. Wible, Appeal No. ; R. M. Bufalini, Appeal No. 1940; Gary Hayden, Appeal No. 1948; Kennth A. Sharp, Appeal No. 1967; John P. McCluskey, Appeal No. 1957; George P. Hunt, Appeal No. .

COUNSEL

Stuart W. Benson, III, for appellant, Scuoteguazza.

Robert L. Webster, with him Webster & Hallal, for appellants, Bush, Coles, Cunningham, Heffran, Law, McDade, Panone, Spaw, Bufalini, Hayden, Sharp, and Hunt.

Newton C. Taylor, with him Robert B. Stewart, III, for appellants, Truax and Wible.

Laurence B. Seaman, for appellant, McCluskey, et al.

Howard M. Snyder, Deputy Attorney General, with him J. Justin Blewitt, Jr., Deputy Attorney General, and Robert P. Kane, Attorney General, for appellee.

Richard Kirschner, with him Neal Goldstein, and Markowitz & Kirschner, for intervening appellee.

President Judge Bowman and Judges Crumlish, Jr., Kramer, Wilkinson, Jr., Mencer, Rogers and Blatt. Opinion by Judge Rogers.

Author: Rogers

[ 28 Pa. Commw. Page 405]

The appellants were regular status civil service employees of Pennsylvania's Department of Transportation (PennDOT) who were furloughed by PennDOT assertedly for lack of work. Section 951(a) of the Civil Service Act, Act of August 5, 1941, P.L. 752, as amended, 71 P.S. § 741.951(a), provides that any regular employee furloughed by the appointing authority may appeal to the Civil Service Commission which "shall promptly schedule and hold a public hearing." Section 951(b), 71 P.S. § 741.951(b), provides that any person who is aggrieved by an act of discrimination because of labor union affiliation or other non-merit factor with respect to his employment by the Commonwealth may appeal to the Commission, which, again "shall promptly schedule and hold a public hearing." The appellants appealed their furloughs to the Civil Service Commission, claiming (1) that PennDOT had not considered all economic factors in reaching its decision to institute the furloughs,*fn1 and (2) that PennDOT acted on non-merit factors relating to union affiliation in taking the furlough actions appealed from.

The Commission, instead of promptly scheduling and holding a hearing as Sections 951(a) and 951(b) require, entered Orders denying the appeals and hearings

[ 28 Pa. Commw. Page 406]

    thereon because the appellants, in the words of the Commission's terse order, "were furloughed under the provisions of the collective ...


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