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                                                      PRINTER'S NO. 1950

THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA


SENATE BILL

No. 1365 Session of 2008


        INTRODUCED BY ROBBINS, ERICKSON, REGOLA, STOUT AND WOZNIAK,
           APRIL 11, 2008

        REFERRED TO LOCAL GOVERNMENT, APRIL 11, 2008

                                     AN ACT

     1  Amending the act of February 1, 1966 (1965 P.L.1656, No.581),
     2     entitled "An act concerning boroughs, and revising, amending
     3     and consolidating the law relating to boroughs," as to civil
     4     service for police and firemen, further providing for general
     5     provisions relating to examinations, rejection of applicant
     6     and hearing, manner of filling appointments, probationary
     7     period and physical examination.

     8     The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
     9  hereby enacts as follows:
    10     Section 1.  Sections 1181 and 1183 of the act of February 1,
    11  1966 (1965 P.L.1656, No.581), known as The Borough Code, are
    12  amended to read:
    13     Section 1181.  General Provisions Relating to Examinations.--
    14  (a)  The commission shall make rules and regulations, to be
    15  approved as provided in section 1176 hereof, providing for the
    16  examination of applicants for positions in the police force and
    17  as paid operators of fire apparatus and for promotions, which
    18  rules and regulations shall prescribe the minimum qualifications
    19  of all applicants to be examined and the passing grades. All
    20  examinations for positions or promotions shall be practical in

     1  character and shall relate to such matters and include such
     2  inquiries as will fairly test the merit and fitness of the
     3  persons examined to discharge the duties of the employment
     4  sought by them. All examinations shall be open to all applicants
     5  who have the minimum qualifications required by the rules and
     6  regulations. Each applicant shall:
     7     (1)  be subject to the regulations adopted by the
     8  commission[, and shall be required to submit to a physical
     9  examination];
    10     (2)  either before or after the written examination, be
    11  required to submit to a physical fitness or agility examination
    12  that is job-related and consistent with business necessity; and
    13     (3)  if made a conditional offer of employment, be given a
    14  physical and psychological medical examination as provided in
    15  section 1189 of this act.
    16     (b)  Public notice of the time and place of every
    17  examination, together with the information as to the kind of
    18  position or place to be filled, shall be given by publication
    19  once in a newspaper of general circulation in the borough, at
    20  least two weeks prior to each examination, and a copy of the
    21  notice shall be prominently posted in the office of the
    22  commission or other public place.
    23     (c)  The commission shall post in its office the eligible
    24  list, containing the names and grades of those who have passed
    25  the examination. Persons, male or female, who served in the
    26  military or naval service of the United States during any war in
    27  which the United States has been, is now, or shall hereafter be,
    28  engaged and who have honorable discharges from such service, who
    29  have successfully passed the examination, shall be given the
    30  additional credits and preference in appointment and promotion
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     1  provided for by law in the manner specified in section 1184 of
     2  this act.
     3     Section 1183.  Rejection of Applicant; Hearing.--(a) The
     4  commission may refuse to examine, or, if examined, may refuse to
     5  certify after examination as eligible, any applicant who is
     6  found to lack any of the minimum qualifications for examination
     7  prescribed in the rules and regulations adopted for the position
     8  or employment for which he has applied, or who is physically
     9  [disabled and] unfit for the performance of the duties of the
    10  position to which he seeks employment, or [who is addicted to
    11  the habitual use of intoxicating liquors or narcotic drugs,] who
    12  is currently addicted to and illegally using a controlled
    13  substance, as defined in section 102 of the Controlled
    14  Substances Act (Public Law 91-513, 21 U.S.C. § 802), or who has
    15  been guilty of any crime involving moral turpitude, or of
    16  infamous or notoriously disgraceful conduct, or who has been
    17  dismissed from public service for delinquency or misconduct of
    18  office, or who is affiliated with any group whose policies or
    19  activities are subversive to the form of government set forth in
    20  the constitutions and laws of the United States and
    21  Pennsylvania.
    22     (b)  If any applicant or other person feels himself aggrieved
    23  by the action of the commission, in refusing to examine him or
    24  to certify him as eligible after examination, the commission
    25  shall, at the request of such person, within ten days, appoint a
    26  time and place where he may appear personally and by counsel.
    27  Whereupon the commission shall then review its refusal to make
    28  such examination or certification and take such testimony as may
    29  be offered. The decision of the commission shall be final.
    30     Section 2.  Section 1184 of the act, amended May 2, 1986
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     1  (P.L.148, No.46), is amended to read:
     2     Section 1184.  Manner of Filling Appointments.--(a)  At the
     3  completion of the testing process, including any background,
     4  physical agility or other examination, with the exception of any
     5  physical and psychological medical examination pursuant to
     6  section 1189 of this act, the commission shall rank the
     7  candidates who have satisfied the minimum requirements for
     8  appointment on an eligibility list. The eligibility list shall
     9  contain the names of individuals eligible for appointment listed
    10  from highest to lowest based on their scores on the examinations
    11  administered by the commission and any points for which the
    12  applicant was entitled by virtue of 51 Pa.C.S. Ch. 71 (relating
    13  to veterans' preference). The eligibility list will be valid for
    14  one year from the date the commission ranks all passing
    15  applicants, assigns veterans' preference points and formally
    16  adopts the eligibility list. The commission may, at its sole
    17  discretion before the original expiration date, by a vote of the
    18  majority of the commission at a duly authorized commission
    19  meeting, extend the list for up to an additional twelve months.
    20  In the absence of a lawful extension by the commission, the list
    21  shall expire. The commission may, at its sole discretion, void
    22  an eligibility list at any time for any reason so long as the
    23  voiding of the list is not designed to circumvent this act.
    24     (b)  Except as provided in subsection [(b)] (c), every
    25  original position or employment in the police force or as paid
    26  operators of fire apparatus, except that of chief of police or
    27  chief of the fire department, or equivalent, shall be filled
    28  only in the following manner: the council shall notify the
    29  commission of any vacancy which is to be filled and shall
    30  request the certification of a list of eligibles. The commission
    20080S1365B1950                  - 4 -     

     1  shall certify for each existing vacancy from the eligible list,
     2  the names of three persons thereon, or a lesser number where
     3  three are not available, who have received the highest average.
     4  The council shall thereupon, with sole reference to the merits
     5  and fitness of the candidates, make an appointment from the
     6  three names certified, unless they make objections to the
     7  commission as to one or more of the persons so certified for any
     8  of the reasons stated in section 1183 of this act. Should such
     9  objections be sustained by the commission, as provided in said
    10  section, the commission shall thereupon strike the name of such
    11  person from the eligible list and certify the next highest name
    12  for each name stricken off. As each subsequent vacancy occurs in
    13  the same or another position precisely the same procedure shall
    14  be followed.
    15     [(b)] (c)  Any vacancy in an existing position in the police
    16  force or as a paid operator of fire apparatus which occurs as a
    17  result of retirement, resignation, disability or death may be
    18  filled by council by the reappointment or reinstatement of a
    19  former employe of the police force or fire department who had
    20  previously complied with the provisions of this section. No
    21  examination, other than a physical examination as directed by
    22  the civil service commission, shall be required in any case of
    23  reappointment or reinstatement.
    24     [(c)] (d)  In the case of a vacancy in the office of chief of
    25  police or chief of the fire department, or equivalent official,
    26  the appointive power may nominate a person to the commission. It
    27  shall thereupon become the duty of the commission to subject
    28  such person to a non-competitive examination, and if such person
    29  shall be certified by the commission as qualified, he may then
    30  be appointed to such position, and thereafter shall be subject
    20080S1365B1950                  - 5 -     

     1  to all the provisions of this subdivision.
     2     Section 3.  Section 1186 of the act is amended to read:
     3     Section 1186.  Probationary Period.--All original
     4  appointments to any position in the police force or as paid
     5  operators of fire apparatus shall be for a probationary period
     6  of not less than six months, and not more than one year, but
     7  during the probationary period an appointee may be dismissed
     8  only for a cause specified in section 1183 of this act or
     9  because of incapacity for duty because of addiction to, and
    10  current use of, alcohol or drugs. If at the close of a
    11  probationary period the conduct of fitness of the probationer
    12  has not been satisfactory to the council, the probationer shall
    13  be notified in writing that he will not receive a permanent
    14  appointment. Thereupon, his appointment shall cease; otherwise
    15  his retention shall be equivalent to a permanent appointment.
    16     Section 4.  Section 1189 of the act, amended October 17, 1980
    17  (P.L.1082, No.182), is amended to read:
    18     Section 1189.  Physical and Psychological Medical
    19  Examination.--[All applicants for examination shall undergo a
    20  physical examination, either before or after the written
    21  examination, which] After an applicant has been selected from
    22  the eligibility list, the applicant shall receive a conditional
    23  offer of employment. The offer of employment shall be
    24  conditioned upon the applicant's successfully completing a
    25  physical and a psychological medical examination, which
    26  examinations shall be conducted under the supervision of a
    27  physician and a psychiatrist or psychologist appointed by the
    28  commission. No person shall be eligible for appointment until
    29  [such physician certifies] both the physician and the
    30  psychiatrist or psychologist certify that the applicant is free
    20080S1365B1950                  - 6 -     

     1  from any bodily or mental defect, deformity or disease that
     2  might incapacitate him for the discharge of the duties of the
     3  position desired. For purposes of this section, the term
     4  "medical examination" shall mean any examination, procedure,
     5  inquiry or test designed to obtain information about medical
     6  history or a physical or mental defect or impairment. Nothing in
     7  this section shall preclude rules and regulations requiring
     8  physical fitness or agility examinations of applicants that are
     9  job related and consistent with business necessity, either
    10  before or after being admitted to the written examination held
    11  by the commission.
    12     Section 5.  Nothing contained in this act shall affect the
    13  validity of any civil service appointment made prior to the
    14  effective date of this section.
    15     Section 6.  This act shall take effect immediately.










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