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City of Houston v. Reyes – Case Brief Summary (Texas)

In City of Houston v. Reyes, 527 S.W.2d 489 (Tex. Civ. App. - Houston 1st Dist. 1975, writ ref'd n.r.e.), the City of Houston enacted an ordinance that changed the title of Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT) to Chauffeurs.

The ordinance specifically said that the change would not affect the status, classification, salary or tenure of the persons holding the EMT positions. Id. at 493.

The issue in Reyes was whether the ordinance created new positions that were required to be filled from the eligibility lists. The Houston court considered Vernon's Civil Statutes Annotated, Article 1269m, section G (today TEX. GOV'T CODE ANN. § 143.021), which states: "in the event any new classification is established either by name or by increase of salary, the same shall be filled by competitive examination in accordance with this law." Id. at 494.

The court held that no new classification was established, finding that:

"the effect of the ordinance was to merge the two formerly separate classifications. The transfer of a position from one classification to another within the same grade level constitutes neither a promotion, demotion, nor a suspension of that person occupying such position. No new classification was created, but positions in one classification were transferred to another classification within the same grade level. Such a transfer did not create a new position." Reyes, 527 S.W.2d at 495-96.