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Monday, November 26, 2012

Challenging the employee's dismissal during his or her probationary period

Challenging the employee's dismissal during his or her probationary period

Supreme Court dismissed a former probationary employee’s petition seeking to annul his termination from his position, the revocation of his New York City Department of Education [DOE] teaching certification, his placement of his name on the DOE's Ineligible/Inquiry list,* and his overall unsatisfactory rating for the 2010-2011 school year.

The Appellate Division sustained the lower court’s actions, explaining that the probationer had failed to establish that his termination, the revocation of his teaching certificate and his placement on the DOE's ineligible/inquiry list, was done in bad faith.

Addressing the individual’s allegation of bad faith, the court noted the record contained evidence of good faith on DOE’s part. For example, said the Appellate Division, the school principal’s "intention was not to terminate [the] petitioner's employment but to extend his probation for an additional year."

In addition, said the court, the record contained evidence of deficiencies in individual's performance during the probationary period.

As to the individual’s challenge to the revocation of his teaching certification and the placement of his name on the ineligible/inquiry list, the Appellate Division ruled that those challenges were not untimely but that Supreme Court had correctly sustained those administrative determinations.

Finally the Appellate Division pointed out that the lower court had correctly dismissed the individual’s challenge to his “U-rating” as it was premature because he had not yet exhausted his administrative remedies.

* Placing an individual’s name on the "Ineligible/Inquiry" list maintained by the New York Department of Education bars that individual from employment at any DOE school while his or her name remains on such list [McPherson v. New York City Dep't of Education, 457 F.3d 211].

The decision is posted on the Internet at:


Handbooks focusing on New York State and Municipal Public Personnel Law:

The Discipline Book, - a concise guide to disciplinary actions involving public employees in New York State. A 1900+ page e-book. For more information click on http://booklocker.com/books/5215.html

The Layoff, Preferred List and Reinstatement Manual - a 435 page handbook reviewing the relevant laws, rules and regulations, and selected court and administrative decisions. For more information click on http://booklocker.com/books/5216.html

A Reasonable Disciplinary Penalty Under the Circumstances - A 600+ page guide to penalties imposed on public employees in New York State found guilty of selected acts of misconduct. For more information, click on http://booklocker.com/books/7401.html

General Municipal Law§§ 207-a and 207-c - Disability Leave for fire, police and other public sector personnel - a 1098 page e-book focusing on administering General Municipal Law Sections 207-a/207-c and providing benefits thereunder. For more information click on http://booklocker.com/books/3916.html

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