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Thursday, August 02, 2012

Performing tasks that are a reasonable outgrowth of an employee’s in-title work does not constitute “out-of-title” work


Performing tasks that are a reasonable outgrowth of an employee’s in-title work does not constitute “out-of-title” work
Scarsdale Assn. of Educ. Secretaries v Board of Educ. of Scarsdale Union Free School Dist., 53 AD3d 572

The Scarsdale Association of Education Secretaries filed a petition pursuant to CPLR Article 78 seeking a review of a determination of the Scarsdale Union Free School District that assigning certain employee security responsibilities did not constitute "out-of-title" work within the meaning of the Civil Service Law. Supreme Court dismissed the Association’s petition and the Appellate Division affirmed the lower court’s ruling.

The Association sued the School District as a result of its implementation of a "single point of entry system" in each of its elementary schools. In order for a visitor to enter the building, he or she had to go to the school's main entrance, which was monitored by a video camera, and ring a doorbell. Some of the secretaries and typists working at the schools were assigned the responsibility of granting the visitors access to the schools. This required the employee to look at a monitor, see that a visitor wanted to come inside, and press a "buzzer" to remotely unlock the door to the main entrance.

Subsequently the District required some secretaries and typists to provide contractors working inside school buildings with identification badges. The secretaries and typists claimed that these new responsibilities were not required by their job descriptions and thus constituted "out-of-title" work within the meaning of Section 61.2 of the Civil Service Law.

The Appellate Division agreed that Civil Service Law §61(2) prohibits out-of-title work except during an emergency situation but noted that “work is not considered out-of-title if it is related to, similar in nature to, or a reasonable outgrowth of, the employee's ‘in-title’ work,“ citing Healy v County of Nassau, 18 AD3d 873.

In this instance the court decided that ”the directives requiring the secretaries and typists involved to use the surveillance monitors and buzzers to admit visitors, and to supply contractors with identification badges, constituted a reasonable outgrowth of their “in-title” work. In particular, the court noted that the job description for the typists included "receiv[ing] visitors, ascertain[ing] their business and direct[ing them] to appropriate staff members."

As to the secretaries, the Appellate Division said that their job description included "a considerable amount of contact with the public."

The court decided that fact that these tasks overlap job responsibilities “set forth in the job specifications of the schools' security workers” does not mandate the conclusion that the secretaries and typists assigned to perform these tasks are performing out-of-title work.

The decision is posted on the Internet at:

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