Amending local civil service commission rules
Formal Opinion of the Attorney General, 98-F3
The New York City Council “jurisdictionally reclassified” a number of city positions without first holding a public hearing concerning the change. New York City’s Director of Personnel advised the State Civil Service Commission that under the circumstances he believed that the State Commission had “no authority to disapprove the proposed changes and should simply note them in its records.”
The State Commission asked the Attorney General for his views concerning the State Commission’s authority under the circumstances. The Attorney General began his analysis by noting that in such matters the courts “have required strict compliance with Section 20.2,” citing Joyce v Ortiz, 108 AD2d 158.
Section 20 of the Civil Service Law sets out the procedures to be followed by a local civil service commission or personnel officer wishing to amend its “personnel rules.” It provides that such rules may be amended only after a public hearing and requires the approval of the State Civil Service Commission. Finally, to have the “force and effect of law,” the amendment must be filed with the Secretary of State to complete the process. Such rules, including the Rules promulgated by the State Commission itself, also provide for the enumeration of positions placed in the exempt, noncompetitive or labor classes by the local commission. All positions in the classified service are automatically in the competitive class unless placed in a different jurisdictional classification by the State Legislature or the State Civil Service Commission.
The key to resolving the issue turned on whether a municipal legislative body was to be equated to the State Legislature for the purposes of Section 20.2, because that Section provides an exception for the Legislature. Section 20.2 specifically indicates that no public hearing is required upon the adoption or modification of a rule required “by reason of a change in any statute in order to confirm the rule to the statute.”
The Attorney General concluded that exception set out in Section 20.2 for conforming to a change in the law “is best given effect by reading ‘statute’ as a reference to a State law, rather than a local enactment.” Accordingly, he advised the State Commission that a political subdivision of the state must comply with the notice, hearing and approval procedures set out in Section 20 if it wishes to amend its personnel rules, including adopting amendments establishing new titles in other than the competitive class and jurisdictionally reclassifying existing positions.
ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE IS NOT USED, IN WHOLE OR IN PART, IN THE SUMMARIES OF JUDICIAL AND QUASI-JUDICIAL DECISIONS PREPARED BY NYPPL
Subsequent court and administrative rulings, or changes to laws, rules and regulations may have modified or clarified or vacated or reversed the decisions summarized here. Accordingly, these summaries should be Shepardized® or otherwise checked to make certain that the most recent information is being considered by the reader.
THE MATERIAL ON THIS WEBSITE IS FOR INFORMATION ONLY. AGAIN, CHANGES IN LAWS, RULES, REGULATIONS AND NEW COURT AND ADMINISTRATIVE DECISIONS MAY AFFECT THE ACCURACY OF THE INFORMATION PROVIDED IN THIS LAWBLOG. THE MATERIAL PRESENTED IS NOT LEGAL ADVICE AND THE USE OF ANY MATERIAL POSTED ON THIS WEBSITE, OR CORRESPONDENCE CONCERNING SUCH MATERIAL, DOES NOT CREATE AN ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP.
New York Public Personnel Law Blog Editor Harvey Randall served as Principal Attorney, New York State Department of Civil Service; Director of Personnel, SUNY Central Administration; Director of Research, Governor’s Office of Employee Relations; and Staff Judge Advocate General, New York Guard. Consistent with the Declaration of Principles jointly adopted by a Committee of the American Bar Association and a Committee of Publishers and Associations, the material posted to this blog is presented with the understanding that neither the publisher nor NYPPL and, or, its staff and contributors are providing legal advice to the reader and in the event legal or other expert assistance is needed, the reader is urged to seek such advice from a knowledgeable professional.
Copyright 2009-2023 - Public Employment Law Press. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.