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December 08, 2011

Passing the test is not enough


Passing the test is not enough
Kirchgessner v. Hurlbut, 81 A.D.2d 958

Although number 3 on the eligible list for Senior Caseworker, Kirchgessner was disqualified because she did not have the specified training and experience required for the position.

When her appeal to the County Personnel Officer was denied, she sued to have her name restored to the eligible list.

Kirchgessner claimed experience as a Social Welfare Examiner satisfied the “social work” requirement for Senior Caseworker (See 18 NYCRR 680.14 for the qualifications).

The Appellate Division ruled that while the descriptions of Senior Caseworker and Senior Social Welfare Examiner (See 18 NYCRR 680.14) by broad interpretation could be viewed as “generally similar,” the Personnel Director was not arbitrary in his determination that Kirchgessner’s work experience did not fulfill statutory criteria and dismissed the appeal.

The court also noted that Hurlbut had consulted with the State Civil Service Commission to confirm his interpretation.

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