Realignment demotion

A realignment demotion is a demotion that results from a realignment. It is a decrease in salary or type of position that results from one of the reasons enumerated in 24 PS § 11-1124 and the resulting realignment of the professional staff.

In Hritz v. Laurel Highlands School District, 167 Pa. Commw. 353, 648 A.2d 108 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1994), petition for allowance of appeal denied, 540 Pa. 634, 658 A.2d 797 (1995), Commonwealth Court characterized a realignment demotion:

There have been instances where this Court has interpreted certain demotions due to realignments to be a hybrid action, thereby justifying application of the restrictions imposed by Sections 1124 and 1125.1, i.e., seniority….. A "realignment demotion" is a "demotion resulting from a suspension caused by the elimination of a position and the attending reorganization." Filoon, ___ Pa. Commonwealth Ct. at ___, 634 A.2d at 730 (emphasis added).

The court explained the factors that must be considered to determine if the realignment provisions of 24 PS § 1125.1 apply to a demotion:

Reviewing the case law, two elements of commonality become clear. In order for a demotion to constitute a "realignment-demotion," the demotion must be (1) due to one of the enumerated reasons provided in Section 1124 of the Code, such as declining enrollment or the closing of a school, and (2) involve some sort of regrouping or reorganizing of duties of other professionals within the district beyond simply the abolishment of a single position resulting in the demotion of one person. See Meck v. Carlisle Area School District, 155 Pa. Commw. 469, 625 A.2d 203 (1993).

648 A.2d at 111. Demotions that result from the realignment of a school district's professional staff are appealed directly to the court of common pleas and from there to Commonwealth Court.

 

School Code 24 PS § § 11-1125.1(c) and 11-1151

Case law

Shestack v. General Braddock Area School District, 437 A.2d 1059 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1981).

Meck v. Carlisle Area School District, 625 A.2d 203 (Pa. Cmwlth.1993).

Filoon v. Middle Bucks Area Vocational-Technical School, 634 A.2d 726, 729 (1993)

Hritz v. Laurel Highlands School District, 648 A.2d 108 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1994), petition for allowance of appeal denied, 658 A.2d 797 (1995)

Boris v. Saint Clair School District, 668 A.2d 264 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1995)

 

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