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Thursday, July 12, 2012

Jurisdictional classification, position classification and determining the compensation to be paid individuals in the State’s “civil service”


Jurisdictional classification, position classification and determining the compensation to be paid individuals in the State’s “civil service”
DeMartino v City of New York, 2012 NY Slip Op 22178, Supreme Court, New York County

The City of New York promulgated Personnel Orders No. 2012/1 and 2012/2 that approve and resulted in an amendment to Rule X of the Personnel Rules and Regulations of the City of New York.

The amendments to Rule X, reclassified 106 heretofore ungraded [presumably NS or “non-statutory” positions] that were so-called “prevailing rate titles” into 14 new occupational titles, “with four grade levels within each service classification affecting salaries and benefits.

DeMartino filed an Article 78 petition seeking a court order annulling Personnel Orders No. 2012/1 and 2012/2, contending that the determinations were unilateral, arbitrary and capricious, in violation of Labor Law §220, and the reclassification provisions of Civil Service Law §20.*

The City opposed the petition claiming that it had “complied with Civil Service Law §20 [1] when it allocated titles within a salary grade construct because it did not change a jurisdictional classification.” The City also contended that Civil Service Law §20 only applies when a title is changed from competitive to [the] noncompetitive or [the] exempt class [or the labor class].

Supreme Court disagreed with the City’s position, holding that the legislative intent of Labor Law §220 is to impose upon the state and municipal corporations the same obligations of paying the prevailing rate of wages to laborers, workmen and mechanics employed in public works, in ungraded or noncompetitive employment** as private employers.

Supreme Court then granted DeMartino’s petition and annulled the two challenged Personnel Orders  .


* NYPER comments: §20 of the Civil Service Law addresses the jurisdictional classification and jurisdictional re-classification of positions by a civil service department or personnel officer, which determination is subject to the approval of the State Civil Service Commission. 


Civil Service Law §2.10 defines the term "jurisdictional classification" as the assignment of positions in the classified service to the competitive, non-competitive, exempt or labor classes while §2.11 defines the term "position classification" as a grouping together, under common and descriptive titles, of positions that are substantially similar in the essential character and scope of their duties and responsibilities and in the qualification requirements therefor. 


Positions in the classified service are typically allocated to a salary grade. See, for example, §130.1.a(1) of the Civil Service Law with respect to certain positions in the service of the State as the employer


Those positions that are not allocated to a salary grade are referred to as “Other Statutory” [O.S.] where the compensation to be paid to the incumbent is set by law or “Non-statutory” [NS] where the salary is typically determined by the entity’s budget as “not to exceed” a designated amount. An example of an “O.S.” position: §40.1 of the Executive Law sets the annual salary of the State Comptroller..


** NYPER comments: As noted above, a position in the classified service that is “Ungraded” is typically referred to as an “N.S.” or “O.S.” position. Being “Ungraded” does not in itself determine the jurisdictional classification of the position. All positions in the classified service are automatically in the competitive class unless the position has been classified or reclassified to a different jurisdictional class as provided by law or has been otherwise so designated by statute.

The decision is posted on the Internet at:


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

The Discipline Book at http://thedisciplinebook.blogspot.com/

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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