Appeals from Montgomery Circuit Court. (CV-91-1123). Randall Thomas, TRIAL JUDGE.
Released for Publication August 21, 1995.
Woodrow W. Wallace, Jr., was employed as an Auditor II with the State Department of Transportation (Transportation). Wallace had been employed with the State of Alabama since September 1983 and was a permanent merit system employee.
In May 1990 Wallace was offered a position with the State Medicaid Agency (Medicaid) and a promotion to Auditor III. Wallace understood that he was under a probationary period in regard to the Auditor III classification. Wallace accepted the Auditor III position with Medicaid. During the period that Wallace was a probationary Auditor III, he was terminated from his employment with Medicaid. The effective date of his termination from Medicaid was November 9, 1990.
Thereafter, Wallace sought assistance from the State Personnel Board (Personnel) in obtaining a position in his prior classification of Auditor II. Wallace received a letter from Personnel, dated November 16, 1990. This letter provided, in pertinent part:
"Since you were terminated during your probationary period and did not gain merit system status as an Auditor III, you are not entitled to a hearing on your dismissal.
"Because you did have prior merit system status as an Auditor II and as an Accountant I, I am placing your name on the reemployment registers for these classes pursuant to the merit system law (Section 36-26-21, Code of Alabama, 1975) and State Personnel Board Rule 670-X-10-.01."
In February 1991 Wallace filed with Personnel a petition for a hearing and a request for a declaratory ruling, pursuant to Ala. Code 1975, § 41-22-11. This petition stated, in pertinent part:
"[Wallace] seeks a declaratory ruling as to the meaning and scope of Rule 670-X-10-.01 concerning his right to be reemployed to any vacancy in the Auditor II class or in the Accountant II class, which is a comparable class.
"[Wallace] also prays for a declaratory ruling to be issued under Section 41-22-11, Code of Alabama 1975, declaring that Rule 670-X-10-.01 provides for [Wallace's] demotion to any Accountant I or Auditor II vacancy at [Medicaid], and that [Wallace] is entitled to back pay for the period of time for which said position has not been offered to [Wallace]."
Rule 670-X-10-.01 provides, in pertinent part:
"If any such employee was a regular employee in another position in the classified service immediately prior to his appointment, he shall be demoted to his regular classification. If his promotion has been in a State agency other than the one in which he held regular status, and there is no vacancy to which he may be demoted, his name shall be placed on the reemployment list for the class of the ...