Wednesday, April 07, 2010

employment - state civil service - discrimination - pleading - specificity

Allen v. State Civil Service Commission - Cmwlth. Court - April 7, 2010

The court held that the Petitioner failed to meet the pleading requirement of “specificity” for filing a SCSC Appeal Request Form as required by Section 105.12(c) of the Civil Service Rules, in that she merely proclaimed race and disability discrimination through general and conclusory allegations which are insufficient as a matter of law. She did not and could not, “identify acts/facts” that would indicate disparate treatment because of her race, and did not “identify acts/facts” that would indicate a failure to provide a reasonable accommodation for a known disability (a disability which is still, yet to be identified and determined).

The regulation requires that "Appeals alleging discrimination which do not include specific facts related to discrimination may be dismissed. Specific facts which should appear on the appeal form include: (1) The acts complained of. (2) How the treatment differs from treatment of others similarly situated. (3) When the acts occurred. (4) When and how the appellant first became aware of the alleged discrimination. 4 Pa. Code § 105.12(c) (emphasis added)."

The court has held that: "The burden of prosecuting such an appeal [(i.e., an appeal based on discrimination)] rests with the employee. The underlying factual basis of the claimed discrimination must be enumerated specifically. Discrimination cannot be inferred; there must be affirmative factual support to sustain the allegations. . . . Thus, [this Court] must determine whether the Appellant’s appeals stated sufficient facts to establish a claim. Keim v. Dep’t of Health, 543 A.2d 1261, 1264 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1988) (citations omitted; emphasis added)." See also, Craig v. State Civil Service Commission, 800 A.2d 364 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2002).