June 28, 2013

Good faith test for job abolishment

Good faith test for job abolishment
Christian v Casey, 76 AD 835

Former employees of the City of Yonkers lost their jobs when the City planned to close it jail under its fiscal program.

The jail was never actually closed, however. It continued in operation with a reduced staff, with police officers performing some of the duties of the former employees that served in the titles of jailer or matron. When the employees sued, the Court held that municipal corporation may in good faith abolish civil service positions for reasons of economy.

The assignment of police officers to the jail was held to be a good faith effort to consolidate the arrest procedures and not an attempt to replace the former employees with newly hired personnel.

The fact that some of the duties of the former employees were being performed by police officers serving in the jail was not viewed as bad faith by the Court as “the utilization of existing personnel to carry out those duties which remained after the abolishment of the positions in the wake of a financial emergency cannot amount to a lack of good faith.”