D.C. 47 suing Nutter administration over furlough changes

Philadelphia Mayor
Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter smiles as he leaves a polling station after casting his vote on election day in Philadelphia Tuesday Nov, 8, 2011. Voters will decide Tuesday whether to send Nutter to a second term in office. Nutter is the overwhelming favorite over little-known Republican challenger Karen Brown. (AP Photo/Jacqueline Larma)

The city’s white-collar union is suing the Nutter administration for new furlough policies that, according to the union, give the mayor unrestricted power to keep some employees off the job for any reason and for any amount of time.

The union, District Council 47 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, is suing on behalf of its Local 2186, which represents some city supervisors and operates outside of D.C. 47’s collective-bargaining agreement. The rest of the union’s workforce is not affected by the new policies, but Local  2186 and all nonunion city employees are.

The lawsuit contends that the changes in furlough practices, which were adopted last month by the mayoral-appointed Civil Service Commission, strip workers of their due-process rights because they prevent workers from appealing furloughs.

“The regulation, as written, has no criteria, no guideline, nothing in it, and specifically says that you don’t have the right to appeal to an anyone, including the Civil Service Commission,” said attorney Ralph Teti, who is representing the union.

The Mayor’s Office declined to comment, as it usually does on pending or ongoing litigation. 

Along with the mayor, the suit names the Civil Service Commission and city Human Resources Director Albert D'Attilio as defendants. Neither returned a request for comment Monday.