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HAVILAND DAY HARPER v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (02/03/89)

decided: February 3, 1989.

HAVILAND DAY HARPER, PETITIONER
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WELFARE, PHILADELPHIA COUNTY ASSISTANCE OFFICE, RESPONDENT



Appeal from the Order of the State Civil Service Commission, in the case of Haviland D. Harper v. Philadelphia County Assistance Office, Department of Public Welfare, Appeal No. 6874.

COUNSEL

Haviland D. Harper, petitioner, for himself.

Catherine Stewart, Assistant Counsel, for respondent.

President Judge Crumlish, Jr., Judge Colins, and Senior Judge Blatt, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Colins.

Author: Colins

[ 123 Pa. Commw. Page 341]

Haviland Day Harper (petitioner) appeals an order of the State Civil Service Commission (Commission) which removed him from the position of Income Maintenance Case Worker, regular status, with the Philadelphia County Assistance Office (PCAO), Department of Public

[ 123 Pa. Commw. Page 342]

Welfare, effective at the close of business on August 28, 1986.

In February, 1985, petitioner was reinstated to his former position as an Income Maintenance Case Worker, with back pay, pursuant to Commission order No. 5098, which was the result of an earlier appeal filed by petitioner. However, before petitioner could resume the duties of an Income Maintenance Case Worker, he was required to undergo a standard training program (STP),*fn1 as required by PCAO. STP was not offered until May, 1985, and as a result, petitioner was assigned to receptionist duties.

Petitioner attended the STP from May 31, 1985, to August 30, 1985, and satisfactorily completed this training program with a rating of 90. Thereafter, petitioner was assigned a full case load on October 7, 1985. Reports from petitioner's supervisors indicated that as early as November, 1985, petitioner's job performance was consistently unacceptable, as he did not produce the volume of work expected of an Income Maintenance Case Worker.

In March, 1986, the quantity of work that petitioner submitted to his supervisor continued to be substandard. Accordingly, petitioner's immediate supervisor, Myralin Johnson, initiated a plan for frequent conferences and close supervision of petitioner. In addition, Mrs. Johnson distributed 78 cases which petitioner had not serviced in a timely fashion to other workers in order to have them completed. Despite the close supervision and ongoing assistance, petitioner continually failed to complete tasks assigned to him.

[ 123 Pa. Commw. Page 343]

By letter dated August 12, 1986, petitioner was removed from his position as an Income Maintenance Case Worker, effective at the close of business on August 28, 1986. The basis for petitioner's removal from employment was unsatisfactory job performance. Petitioner subsequently filed the present appeal challenging the agency's personnel action pursuant to Sections 951(a)*fn2 and 951(b)*fn3 of the Civil Service Act (Act). Petitioner charged that he was removed from his position without just cause and that the agency discriminated against him on the basis of his age, which was 59 at the time of his removal. As a result of these alleged violations of the Act, petitioner requested ...


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