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J. WARREN MATSON v. HOUSING AUTHORITY CITY PITTSBURGH (06/02/86)

decided: June 2, 1986.

J. WARREN MATSON, BERT COLLINS, HARRY INGRAM AND MARY ANN MIACZYNSKI
v.
HOUSING AUTHORITY OF THE CITY OF PITTSBURGH, APPELLANT



Appeal from the Judgment entered in the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Civil Division, No. G.D. 77-30499

COUNSEL

David B. Washington, Pittsburgh, for appellant.

Barbara M. Wolvovitz, Pittsburgh, for Matson, appellee.

Henry L. Miller, Pittsburgh, for Collins, appellees.

Tamilia, Kelly and Montgomery, JJ.

Author: Tamilia

[ 353 Pa. Super. Page 590]

This is an appeal from a final judgment entered against appellant, Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh (hereinafter HACP) ordering payment for accrued vacation and sick leave to appellees.

Appellant, HACP, is a housing authority created in accordance with the Housing Authorities Act (35 P.S. ยง 1541 et seq.). Appellees, Matson, Ingram, Collins and Miaczynski, were employed respectively by the appellant from September 1942, February 1942, February 1948 and March 1957.

This action was commenced on December 29, 1977 when appellees served appellant with a Writ of Summons in Assumpsit. It was not until May 1980, following appellant's Praecipe for Rule to File Complaint, that a complaint was filed by appellees as former employees of appellant, HACP, to recover payment for accumulated sick and vacation leave to which an answer and new matter were filed by appellant. On October 28, 1981, appellee filed a motion for summary judgment alleging appellant was collaterally estopped from relitigating issues resolved in Housing Authority of Pittsburgh v. Konrad C. Dorsch, et al. at G.D. 75-3399 et seq. The Court en banc granted appellee's motion for summary judgment on April 26, 1981, and appellant appealed to the Superior Court. On March 23, 1984, in Matson et al. v. Housing Authority 326 Pa. Super. 109, 473 A.2d 632 (1984), the Superior Court reversed the granting of

[ 353 Pa. Super. Page 591]

    summary judgment because the record was inadequate and the appellee's argument was based on dicta in Dorsch, supra. After remand, the case was submitted to the lower court on a stipulation of facts as a case stated. After argument, the lower court entered judgments for the appellees. The lower court denied appellant's exceptions on July 8, 1985, and appellant appealed to this Court.

During the period of employment in issue, the board of directors of the HACP implemented personnel policies which governed the terms of employment including vacation and sick leave of all non-union employees of the HACP. The appellees were made aware of the terms of successive personnel policies by distribution of copies or through office meetings. The 1970 personnel policy provided for the accumulation of vacation leave based on years of employment over a five year period, unlimited accumulation of sick leave and payment at the time of termination of employment for sick leave accrued during the last ten years of employment. The appellees were aware that it was the custom and practice of appellant to pay its employees, at the time of resignation, for accumulated vacation leave in the amount permitted by the terms of their employment. On November 30, 1971, the HACP board of directors adopted a new personnel policy, effective January 1, 1972, which eliminated payment for unused sick leave when employment was terminated and limited the accumulation and carryover of vacation time. All appellees submitted their resignations of employment prior to January 1, 1972.

During this period of time appellant had entered into a series of Annual Contributions Contracts with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (hereinafter HUD) and was the recipient of federal funds. ...


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