Some decisions concerning using civil service eligible lists

Some decisions concerning using civil service eligible lists

NYPPL readers have asked about "using civil service eligible lists" involving the following situations. As these questions may be of general interest, the responses are summarized below:

Expediting holding an examination

An individual on an eligible list was not entitled to an expedited medical and psychological examination before the existing eligibility list expires. Puntillo v. Abate, 205 A.D.2d 304.

Selection of the highest person on an eligible list

Rule of three upheld with respect to passing over a "higher scoring applicants." Cassidy v. Munic. Civil Serv. Cmsn. of City of New Rochelle, 37 N.Y.2d 526. 

However, appointing authorities may make appointments by selecting individuals for appointment "in rank order," referred to as "the rule of the list," or “the rule of one,” a process typically agreed to in the course of collective bargaining.

N.B. The “rule of one” is followed when making an appointment from a preferred list [Civil Service Law §82]. In contrast, with respect to appointments from reemployment rosters [CSL 82-a] and placement rosters [CSL 82-b] the names of those eligible for appointment from such rosters “shall be certified therefrom with equal ranking for appointment” thereby permitting the appointing authority to select any individual on such a roster without regard to his or her “seniority.”

Breaking ties in an examination: It is lawful to use social security numbers to rank applicants with the same numerical scores but it would be wrong to rank candidates based on their raw scores on the pass/fail portions of a qualifying examination. Napoli v. Levitt, 176 A.D.2d 668.