Monday, April 30, 2012

Commission issues 19 decisions, ordering relief in one case

On April 19, the Civil Service Commission issued 17 decisions on pending cases. What is most noteworthy about the cases is that only one resulted in a decision in favor of the Appellant. That case involved the narrow issue of whether candidate satisfied the residency requirement in Boston for the position of firefighter. Many of the cases, though far from all, were bypass appeals that were denied. In this practitioner's opinion, this continues the trend seen in the past year or so of bypass appeals becoming harder to win. A case now on appeal before the Supreme Judicial Court, Kaveleski v. Boston Police Department, will likely provide clearer guidance on the appropriate standard of review in bypass cases, and possibly a more favorable standard for appellants.

One noteworthy aspect of the recent decisions was Commission Paul Stein's comments in Sherman v. Town of Randolph, G2-10-102, concerning the decision by the Human Resources Division in 2009 to delegate its functions with appointments and promotions of public safety personnel. Commissioner Stein noted that since the delegation, the Commission has experienced an increase in the number of direct inquiries it receives. He explained that problematic issues in bypass decisions that might have previously been cured by HRD before an appeal now are raised in appeals.

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