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ROBERT SULLIVAN v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (03/18/82)

decided: March 18, 1982.

ROBERT SULLIVAN, PETITIONER
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, RESPONDENT. CARL BAER, PETITIONER V. COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, RESPONDENT



Appeals from the Order of the State Civil Service Commission in the case of Robert Sullivan v. Department of Transportation, Appeal No. 3358, and in the case of Carl Baer v. Department of Transportation, Appeal No. 3359, dated March 2, 1981.

COUNSEL

Kingsley A. Jarvis, for appellants.

Mark Hodgeman, Assistant Counsel, with him Louis G. Cocheres, Assistant Counsel, Ward T. Williams, Chief Counsel, and Jay C. Waldman, General Counsel, for respondent.

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

Author: Craig

[ 65 Pa. Commw. Page 383]

Robert Sullivan and Carl Baer appeal from the Civil Service Commission's refusal to grant them hearings to contest a termination of their employment with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.

Because we have no evidentiary record whatsoever, we must consider the allegations of the appeal letter which the employees' attorney filed with the Commission. It avers that the department hired Baer in 1962 and Sullivan in 1963, originally classifying each of them as a Construction Inspector I. Baer was promoted to Construction Inspector II in 1963 and to Construction Inspector III in 1970. During 1970, Sullivan was promoted to Construction Inspector II and then to Construction Inspector III. In 1978, because of insufficient work, the department first bumped both of them down to Construction Inspector II and then furloughed them, according to the appeal letter.

[ 65 Pa. Commw. Page 384]

In May 1979, the department recalled them on a temporary basis to do the same work that they had done as Construction Inspectors II, and then, according to the appeal allegations, again furloughed them December 31, 1979.*fn1

In April, 1980, the department again recalled them for temporary employment to do the same work they did as Construction Inspectors II, and, in November, 1980, they were again "laid off" because of insufficient work.

Asserting that such November, 1980 termination was in violation of the Civil Service Act (Act),*fn2 the appeal to the commission, under Section 951(a),*fn3 contends that they were improperly furloughed because they have more seniority*fn4 than other employees who continued to be employed by the department as construction inspectors. The Commission denied their requests for hearings on the ground that their "removal" was merely the expiration of periods of temporary employment and not personnel actions which can be appealed under the Act.

Section 951(a) provides, in pertinent part that, "[a]ny regular employe in the ...


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