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ROBBIE C. HENDERSON v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (06/15/89)

decided: June 15, 1989.

ROBBIE C. HENDERSON, PETITIONER,
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, OFFICE OF THE BUDGET, RESPONDENT



PETITION FOR REVIEW (STATE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION)

COUNSEL

Gerard M. Mackarevich, Ira H. Weinstock, P.C., Harrisburg, for petitioner.

Arlene F. Klinedinst, Asst. Counsel, Harrisburg, for respondent.

Barry and Palladino (p.), JJ., and Barbieri, Senior Judge.

Author: Barbieri

[ 126 Pa. Commw. Page 609]

Robbie C. Henderson (Henderson) petitions for review of the State Civil Service Commission's (Commission) July 14, 1988 order which upheld the Office of the Budget's (Office) removal of Henderson from his probationary position as audit specialist trainee and dismissed Henderson's appeal for failure to state a prima facie case of racial discrimination

[ 126 Pa. Commw. Page 610]

    under Section 905.1 of the Civil Service Act (Act).*fn1 The primary issue presented for review pertains to the standard of proof to be used to analyze racial discrimination claims brought under Section 905.1 of the Act.*fn2 The Commission's order is affirmed.

Henderson was appointed by the Office as a temporary fiscal assistant in the Liquor Control Board Comptroller's Office, effective November 15, 1984, for a period not to exceed six months. While serving in this capacity, Henderson was transferred to the Department of Transportation Comptroller's Office and promoted to the audit specialist trainee class, a one-year probationary training program, commencing February 7, 1985. By letter dated August 23, 1985, the Office removed Henderson from the training program for alleged unsatisfactory performance and returned him to his previous position as temporary fiscal assistant.*fn3 This temporary position, however, expired

[ 126 Pa. Commw. Page 611]

    on or about May 15, 1985, resulting in Henderson's termination.

Henderson thereafter appealed his removal from the training program to the Commission, alleging discriminatory action by the Office. A hearing followed on January 15, 1986. Henderson testified that he is a black person whose employment was terminated; that he was required to take the auditor specialist training test; that he was the only black person employed in this division of the Office (Division); that none of the white trainees were terminated; and that one of the white trainees, Richard Denny, received an extended training period. Henderson further testified that he received a two hour orientation contrary to the one to three day orientation allowed under the training program and that he was assigned to perform two complete audits without assistance at a date much earlier than outlined in the training program. N.T., January 15, 1986 Hearing, pp. 30-31, 33-34, 43-47.

Henderson testified as well that his immediate supervisor refused to answer his questions; that he was not given evaluations of his performance following each assignment nor did he receive additional training in any area in which he may have been experiencing difficulty as required by the training program; and that he did not initially receive essential documents used in performing audits. Moreover, Henderson knew of no white employe who received an abbreviated orientation, was subjected to ...


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