The Kansas Department of Human Resources (KDHR) and the Kansas
Department of Administration, Division of Personnel Services
(DPS), appeal from the trial court's reversal of the agency's
ruling on the job classification of Verne E. Mulford.
Verne E. Mulford was a Physical Plant Supervisor II for the
State of Kansas. In 1985, DPS did a comprehensive classification
study of some job classes. It was determined that there was a
need to update class specifications. In Phase II of the study,
DPS reviewed 72 classes of mechanics, repairers, and operators.
Under the preliminary updated classification descriptions,
Mulford was listed as a Physical Plant Supervisor II. As part of
the standard procedure during the course of the study, after all
positions were reassigned to the new proposed classes, the
agencies were provided a printout of where the employees would be
placed in the new class schedule. The various agencies then
reviewed the printout to make changes.
In October 1986, Bud Pierce, the director of personnel services
of KDHR received the printout from DPS that had the preliminary
allocations for all of the Department's positions that were
involved in the Phase II study. Pierce also received the proposed
class specifications for the new classes. Pierce was asked to
review the preliminary allocations and make corrections or
suggestions. Pierce found problems with five of the eleven KDHR
positions. One of the positions was Mulford's. It appeared to
Pierce that the proposed class specification for the new Physical
Plant Supervisor II did not fit Mulford's position; rather,
Mulford's position fit the description of Physical Plant
Pierce contacted Mulford's supervisory personnel and reviewed
the preliminary allocations and proposed class specifications.
They recommended that Mulford be classified as a Physical Plant
Supervisor I. When the new printout came out, it listed Mulford's
position as Physical Plant Supervisor I under the new scheme.
Under his old classification as Supervisor II, Mulford's salary
range was 23. Under the new classification scheme as Supervisor
I, Mulford's salary range was 23. If he had been a Supervisor II
under the new scheme, his salary range would have been 25.
Mulford attended "Tell the Governor" day for state employees
and complained about his job classification. He was informed by
the Governor's office that an "on-site" review of his job would
be done by DPS to determine the most appropriate classification.
The review was done by Kenneth Otte and Lois Ryan, analysts for
DPS. Mulford was allowed to present documentation to the analysts
supporting his position.
After the on-site visit, both analysts independently analyzed
the information and wrote up their reports; both found that
Mulford should clearly be classified as a Physical Plant
Supervisor I. DPS presented its final findings in a letter dated
February 22, 1988, with the conclusion that Mulford was a
Physical Plant Supervisor I. On March 23, 1988, Mulford filed a
petition for judicial review in district court.
In his petition, Mulford argued that his job class was lowered
without due process. KDHR and DPS filed a motion to dismiss,
arguing that while there had been a reclassification of job
titles, there was no change in salary and no damage. They also
argued that the matter was not justiciable under the Kansas Act
for Judicial Review and Civil Enforcement of Agency Actions,
K.S.A. 77-601 et seq. Finally, they argued that, even if
Mulford were damaged, back pay is not a proper remedy.
In his trial brief, Mulford argued that he had a property
interest in his job, which cannot be infringed upon arbitrarily.
He argued that the interest was in retaining the classification
so as to achieve a pay gain and avoid the embarrassment of being
placed in a lower job; that, although K.A.R. 1-4-1(c) allows
classification plans to be revised, the only basis for
reclassification is a change in duties; and that K.A.R. 1-1-1(c)
requires a position-to-position study to be done to compare his
duties to that of other employees to see if they are doing the
KDHR argued that there is a difference between establishing a
new classification system and reclassifying an employee under an
existing system and that no showing of change of duties is needed
when a new system is put in place. It also argued that ...