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Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Seniority for the purposes of layoff of a Unified Court System employee is determined solely on the basis of his or her permanent service with the System


Seniority for the purposes of layoff of a Unified Court System employee is determined solely on the basis of his or her permanent service with the System
2013 NY Slip Op 07135, Appellate Division First Department

A Senior Law Librarian[Librarian] was laid off as part of a workforce reduction by the Unified Court System [UCS]. USC had determined that Librarian did not qualify for the "legal and secretarial employees providing services directly to judges" exception to the reduction. 

In response to Librarian’s petition challenging USC’s determination, the Appellate Division ruled that USC’s decision was based its interpretation of its own guidelines and “was not arbitrary and capricious, or irrational." The court explained that Librarian’s title, Senior Law Librarian, did not place him in the category of personnel directly assigned to, and serving at the pleasure of, the judges.

USC had determined Librarian’s seniority “based solely upon his years of service for the UCS” in accordance with rules promulgated by the Chief Judge and set out in 22 NYCRR 25.30[a].

22 NYCRR 25.30[a] provides that personnel are to be laid off "in inverse order of original appointment on a permanent basis in the classified service of the [UCS]." The decision notes that the Judiciary Law § 211(1)(d)'s directive that the administrative standards imposed by the Chief Judge "be consistent with the civil service law," requires only that they be guided, not governed, by it.”

The Appellate Division concluded that  22 NYCRR 25.30's provision that personnel be reduced "in inverse order of original appointment on a permanent basis in the classified service of the [UCS]" is consistent with Civil Service Law §80(1)'s requirement that employees be given a preference based upon the length of their service and that its enactment was within the judiciary's authority of self-governance in administrative matters.

Civil Service Law §80.1 provide, in pertinent part, that “Where, because of economy, consolidation or abolition of functions, curtailment of activities or otherwise, positions in the competitive class are abolished or reduced in rank or salary grade, suspension or demotion, as the case may be, among incumbents holding the same or similar positions shall be made in the inverse order of original appointment on a permanent basis in the classified service in the service of the governmental jurisdiction in which such abolition or reduction of positions occurs, subject to the provisions of subdivision seven of section eighty-five of this chapter; provided, however, that the date of original appointment of any such incumbent who was transferred to such governmental jurisdiction from another governmental jurisdiction upon the transfer of functions shall be the date of original appointment on a permanent basis in the classified service in the service of the governmental jurisdiction from which such transfer was made.”

The decision is posted on the Internet at:
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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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