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FRED S. SIENKIEWICZ v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (08/13/80)

decided: August 13, 1980.

FRED S. SIENKIEWICZ, PETITIONER
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WELFARE, THE SELINSGROVE CENTER AND STATE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION, RESPONDENTS



Appeal from the Order of the Pennsylvania State Civil Service Commission in case of Fred S. Sienkiewicz v. Selinsgrove Center, Department of Public Welfare, No. 2747.

COUNSEL

James R. Protasio, Cohen & Protasio, for petitioner.

Barbara G. Raup, Assistant Attorney General, with her James S. Marshall, Assistant Attorney General, for respondents.

Judges Wilkinson, Jr., MacPhail and Williams, Jr., sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge MacPhail.

Author: Macphail

[ 53 Pa. Commw. Page 446]

Fred Sienkiewicz (Petitioner) appeals to this Court from an order of the State Civil Service Commission (Commission) denying his request for a hearing following his dismissal from employment with the Selinsgrove Center (Center), Department of Public Welfare. Petitioner raises two issues for our consideration:

[ 53 Pa. Commw. Page 447]

    whether the Commission's decision to deny him a hearing was arbitrary and capricious and whether the denial of the requested hearing violated the Equal Protection Clause of the United States Constitution.*fn1 Neither issue has merit. Accordingly, we affirm the order of the Commission.

Petitioner was employed as a psychiatric nurse intern, probationary*fn2 status, at the Center until March 1, 1979, when he was discharged. The reasons for petitioner's discharge were set forth in writing as follows:

The reasons for your removal are inability to function independently in regards to clinical evaluation and assessment of residents on Unit VI, your need for support, and supervision and confirmation of another professional registered nurse in regards to treatment and follow-up of residents' care, as well as the charting of evaluation, lack of initiative to question procedures you were unsure of or had no opportunity to perform in past clinical experience and poor judgment in following written medical treatment plans of residents on Unit VI.

Petitioner appealed his discharge to the Commission stating that he disputed the validity of the reasons given for his discharge. On the appeal form, he clearly indicated that he was appealing his termination pursuant to Section 951(a) 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), and that he was not appealing

[ 53 Pa. Commw. Page 448]

    his termination pursuant to Section 951(b) of the Act, 71 P.S. § 741.951(b). An appeal pursuant to Section 951(a) is available only to regular employees.*fn3 An appeal pursuant to Section 951(b) is available to any person covered by the Act, but such appeals are limited to challenges alleging a violation of Section 905.1 of the Act, added by Section 25 of the Act of August 27, 1963, P.L. 1257, 71 P.S. § 741.905a. Section 905.1 prohibits discrimination in job actions, including terminations, which are taken "because of ...


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