Justice Manuel Mendez

Petitioners in this Article 78 petition sought to annul respondents’ administrative actions, which resulted in Personal Orders 2012/1 and 2012/2. The orders allegedly reclassified 106 ungraded prevailing rate titles into 14 new occupational titles. Petitioners argued the determinations were unilateral, arbitrary and violated Labor Law §220, and the reclassification provisions of New York Civil Service Law §20. The court noted a reclassification of titles was lawful, and a civil service title may be abolished in good faith based on economy and efficiency, but not “as subterfuge for avoiding statutory protections provided to civil servants.” Also, reclassification could only be accomplished in the manner set forth in CSL §20, which requires notice, a hearing, review and approval by the state Civil Service Commission. The court noted a review of the orders revealed that “changes made in time and leave have been substantially altered,” salary, time and leave accrued were removed and unilaterally altered by respondents without notice, hearing or determination by the commissioner. As such, the court ruled such revisions had no rational basis, and respondents’ reclassification was arbitrary, granting the petition to annul the subject orders.