The Rationale for Not Allowing a Preference for Promotions

In Housing Authority of the County of Chester v. Pennsylvania State Civil Service Commission, 556 Pa. 621, 730 A.2d 935 (1999), the Supreme Court explained the rationale for not allowing a preference for promotions as follows: The reason for this distinction is simple. In the promotions context, the competing candidates are seeking to move up from within the same organization. They will have had ample opportunity during their tenure in that agency or organization to hone the skills relative to the promotion which they seek. If, during the period in which they have had the opportunity to develop their skills in the exact same environment as the rival candidates, they have failed to progress to the same skill level as those rivals, then the fact that they had experience in the armed services is not probative and does not justify the candidate's shortcomings. On the other hand, when candidates seek appointment to a position in an organization or agency in which none of them have any experience, the fact that one of the candidates has military experience may rationally be viewed as that which distinguishes him as the superior candidate for the position. 556 Pa. at 647, 730 A.2d at 949.