Begin Main Content Area

Civil Service Commission

Glossary of Commonly Used Terms and Phrases:

Adjudication - The Commission’s written decision and order.
Appeal - Any request for a hearing filed with the Commission.
Appellant - The employee requesting a hearing with the Commission.
Appointing Authority - The employer who made the decision that is being appealed to the Commission.
Brief - Any writing submitted after a hearing in which a party argues for its position.
Burden of Proof - The party with the burden of proof will go first in presenting its evidence at the hearing and must prove its case or it will lose.
Dismiss Appeal - The Commission has ruled against the appellant.
Sustain Appeal - The Commission has ruled in favor of the appellant.
Modify the Penalty - The Commission finds the discipline is appropriate but votes to lessen the penalty.
Hearsay - When a witness testifies about what someone else said or wrote. This is a very confusing rule of evidence. Some times it is allowed, other times it is not.
Leading Question - The type of question that suggests its own answer. For example, “The car was red, wasn’t it?” Should not be allowed on direct testimony.
Direct Testimony - The answers given by a witness to questions asked by the party who brought the witness to testify at the hearing.
Cross Examination - The answers a witness gives to questions asked by the other party at a hearing.
Adverse or Hostile Witness - Allows a party to ask leading questions on direct testimony when the witness is not being cooperative.
Subpoena - An order issued by the Commission to compel a witness or a document to be brought to a hearing.
Motion to Quash - Refers to any requests for the Commission to cancel an order, usually used in reference to a subpoena.
List Removal Request - A request to have an individual’s name removed from an employment certification list.
No-Show - The name given to a party (usually the Appellant) who does not appear for a hearing. Usually, this results in the appeal being dismissed by the Commission.
951(a) Hearing - The type of hearing that a regular status employee gets when he is suspended, demoted, terminated or furloughed. In this type of hearing, the appointing authority has the burden of proof.
951(b) Hearing - A hearing based on a claim of discrimination. This is the only type of hearing a probationary employee can have. The burden of proof is on the appellant.
951(d) Hearing - This is a hearing the Commission schedules on its own to conduct an investigation into a personnel action. There is no assigned burden of proof in this type of hearing.
Insufficient Allegation of Discrimination (IAD) - The code used by the Commission to deny a hearing when the facts alleged in the appeal are insufficient to state a discrimination claim.
No Allegation of Discrimination (NAD) - The code used by the Commission to deny an appeal when there is no claim of discrimination at all.
Deny as Untimely (DU) - The code used by the Commission to deny an appeal when it has been filed more than twenty days after the appellant received notice of the personnel action he is appealing.
Lack of Jurisdiction (LOJ) - Code for an appeal that is denied by the Commission because the Commission has no jurisdiction over the subject matter of the appeal.
Lack of Prosecution (LOP) - The code used to deny an appeal when the appellant has failed to follow the Commission’s instructions to continue to move the appeal forward.
Non-Appealable Action (NAA) - The code used to deny an appeal when the action of the appointing authority that is being challenged is not appealable to the Commission.
No Personnel Action (NPA) - The code used to deny an appeal when the appellant is merely complaining, but there has been no personnel action from which an appeal could be taken.

Agency Contact:

Laura J. Knittel, Chief of Appeals
P O Box 569
Harrisburg, PA 17108-0569
717-772-5120 (fax)