CHAPTER 213

FORMERLY

HOUSE BILL NO. 715

AN ACT TO PERMIT CERTAIN EMPLOYEES OF THE DEPARTMENT OF HIGHWAYS AND TRANSPORTATION TO RETAIN CERTAIN SALARY OVERPAYMENTS AND DECLARING THE PROMOTIONS OF SUCH EMPLOYEES TO BE VALID AND LEGAL.

WHEREAS, certain employees of the Department of Highways and Transportation were promoted to positions with a higher pay grade, effective July 1, 1974, without going through the procedure of posting as required by Merit System Rule 13.0110; and

WHEREAS, both the Department of Highways and Transportation and the State Personnel Office were of the opinion that such personnel transactions did not fall within the classification of promotions and did not require job posting; and

WHEREAS, the Department of Justice, by letter opinion of the State Solicitor has ruled that "the personnel transactions involved would have fallen under the classification of promotion and would have required posting prior to such action being taken"; and

WHEREAS, the Secretary of the Department of Highways and Transportation, following the advice of the State Solicitor and adhering to the request of the Director of the State Personnel Office reluctantly informed all Division, District, Bureau and Section Heads and the affected employer that the following personnel actions must be taken:

(1) Those employees who presently occupy the positions in question will be removed from such positions.

(2) The vacancies thus formed will be posted pursuant to Merit System Rule 13.0100.

(3) All qualified personnel will be considered for the promotions pursuant to Merit System 13.0100.

(4) Appropriate action will be taken to recover money paid to such employees pursuant to the State's right of "setoff"--i.e.--The right to set-off against wages due an employee the amount owed the State because of an overpayment.

WHEREAS, the aforementioned promotions were made with the approval of the State Personnel Office; and

WHEREAS, neither the employees of the Department of Highways and Transportation nor the Department itself had any knowledge that the aforementioned promotions were illegal; and

WHEREAS, to require such employees to reimburse the State for such overpayments and to remove such employees from their promoted positions would be grossly unfair.

NOW, THEREFORE:

Section 1. All employees of the Department of Highways and Transportation who were illegally promoted, that is, promoted without job posting on or after July 1, 1974, shall not be required to reimburse the State for any overpayment in salary made to such employees, as a result of such promotion being declared illegal and such employees shall not owe or be indebted to the State for any such overpayment, now or in the future, notwithstanding any other provisions of the laws of this State or any Merit System Rule to the contrary.

Section 2. All employees of the Department of Highways and Transportation who were promoted by the Department on or after July 1, 1974 and whose promotions were ruled illegal by the State Solicitor, shall not be removed from the positions to which they were promoted and such promotions shall be deemed valid and legal, notwithstanding any other provisions of the laws of this State or Merit Rule to the contrary.

Approved July 9, 1975