January 12, 2011

Enlarging the probationary period

Enlarging the probationary period
Caruso v Ward, 546 NYS2d 853

The New York City Police Department decided to change the initial probationary period for police officers from eighteen months to two years. The Union challenged the decision and asked the Courts to annul the change.

The Appellate Division sustained the Department’s changing the term of the probationary period for newly appointed police officers, citing a number of reasons for its ruling.

The Court said that the Union:

(1) had failed to show that it had a clear legal right to the relief it sought [reversion to the 18 month probationary period] and

(2) it did not present any evidence of bad faith, illegality or arbitrary action by the Department in extending the maximum period of probation for new appointees to the force.

The Appellate Division then said that “the decision to enlarge the probationary period was rationally related to the goal of more thorough evaluation of [a] new officers’ fitness for duty” and denied the union’s appeal.

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