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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Extending a promotion eligible list following wrongful disqualification

Extending a promotion eligible list following wrongful disqualification
Matter of Carozza v City of New York, 37 AD3d 247


Brigitte Carozza won her lawsuit contending that she and her co-plaintiffs had been “wrongfully disqualified retroactively from consideration for promotion by reason of having just been placed in new job titles” (see Matter of Carozza v City of New York, 10 AD3d 488 [2004]).* As a result, Carozza and her co-plaintiffs were placed on promotion eligible lists just one month before those lists expired.


Carozza and her co-plaintiffs immediately brought a second lawsuit seeking the creation of special eligible lists pursuant to Civil Service Law §56(3). The placement of their names on such a list would provide them with an additional period of eligibility for promotion from a list. Carozza, and her co-petitioners, however, were not as successful in this second action.


The Appellate Division ruled that Carozza’s “successful challenge” to her, and her co-petitioners’ disqualification was not based on a finding that an error had caused a flaw in the entire promotional process, resulting in a list that did not accurately measure the merit and fitness of those candidates whose names were on the list.**


Accordingly, said the court, the remedy sought in this second lawsuit “does not comport” with the merit and fitness mandate set out in Article V, Section 6 of the New York State Constitution.


The court’s rationale: “Under the circumstances, it cannot be said that the original lists had no legal existence and thus could not have expired.”


The decision is posted on the Internet at
:
http://nypublicpersonnellawarchives.blogspot.com/2007/02/eligibility-for-promotion.html

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* In Carozza I, the court said: “CSC rationally concluded that the employees' acceptance of jobs in a new title series could not retroactively disqualify them for promotions in their old title series for which they were qualified at the time they took the promotional examination, at least in the absence of clear notice that by accepting the new jobs they were effectively voiding the examinations and otherwise disqualifying themselves for promotion in the old series.”

** Civil Service Law §56(3), in pertinent part, provides as follows: Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, the name of any applicant or eligible whose disqualification has been reversed or whose rank order on an eligible list has been adjusted through administrative or judicial action or proceeding shall be placed on an eligible list for a period of time equal to the period of disqualification or for the period the application has been improperly ranked, up to a maximum period of one year or until the expiration of the eligibility list, whichever is longer. If an eligible list expires prior to the expiration of such period of restoration, the name of the applicant or eligible shall be placed on a special eligible list, which shall have a duration equal to the remainder of the period of restoration.


Handbooks focusing on State and Municipal Public Personnel Law continue to be available for purchase via the links provided below:

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A Reasonable Penalty Under The Circumstances at http://nypplarchives.blogspot.com

The Disability Benefits E-book: at http://section207.blogspot.com/

Layoff, Preferred Lists at http://nylayoff.blogspot.com/

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