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BENJAMIN J. SNIPAS v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (09/26/79)

decided: September 26, 1979.

BENJAMIN J. SNIPAS, PETITIONER
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WELFARE, RESPONDENT



Appeal from the Order of the State Civil Service Commission in case of Appeal of Benjamin J. Snipas, dated June 28, 1978.

COUNSEL

Benjamin J. Snipas, petitioner, for himself.

Mary Frances Grabowski, Assistant Attorney General, for respondent.

Judges Blatt, DiSalle and Craig, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge DiSalle.

Author: Disalle

[ 46 Pa. Commw. Page 197]

Benjamin J. Snipas (Petitioner), asks us to review the action of the State Civil Service Commission

[ 46 Pa. Commw. Page 198]

(Commission) sustaining his twelve-day furlough by the Department of Public Welfare (DPW) from his position as Therapeutic Activities Worker V (General), regular status, at Farview State Hospital (Farview). We affirm.

This action had its genesis in a letter sent to Petitioner by Farview informing him that a severe budgetary crisis necessitated his furlough, beginning July 31, 1977. The effective date was later changed to August 5, 1977, and Petitioner was recalled to work on August 24, 1977. Petitioner appealed his furlough to the Commission, and received a hearing on the matter on November 18, 1977. By Adjudication and Order dated June 28, 1978, the Commission dismissed his appeal and sustained DPW's action.

In his petition for review, Mr. Snipas relies on Sections 951(a) and 951(b) of the Civil Service Act (Act), Act of August 5, 1941, P.L. 752, as amended, added by Section 27 of the Act of August 27, 1963, P.L. 1257, 71 P.S. §§ 741.951(a), 741.951(b). Section 951(a) allows an employe to appeal "[a]ny permanent separation, suspension for cause, furlough or demotion on the grounds that such action has been taken in his case in violation of the provisions of [the] act." We note initially that Section 3(s) of the Act, 71 P.S. § 741.3(s), defines "furlough" as "the termination of employment because of lack of funds or of work." Section 802 of the Act, 71 P.S. § 741.802, the furlough provision, provides pertinently as follows:

In case a reduction in force is necessary in the classified service, no employe shall be furloughed while any probationary or provisional employe is employed in the same class in the same department or agency, and no probationary shall be furloughed while a provisional employe is employed in the same class in the same department or agency. An employe shall

[ 46 Pa. Commw. Page 199]

    be furloughed only if at the time he is furloughed, he is within the lowest quarter among all employes of the employer in the same class on the basis of their last regular service ratings, and within this quarter he shall be furloughed in the order of seniority unless there is in existence a labor agreement covering the employes to be furloughed, in which case the terms of such labor agreement relative to a furlough procedure shall be controlling: Provided, that the appointing authority may limit the application of this provision in any particular instance to employes in the same class, classification series or other grouping of employes as referred to in any ...


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