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State of New York vs. COVID-19 - Governor Andrew M. Cuomo periodically updates New Yorkers on the state's progress during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The latest reports of the number of new cases, the percentage of tests that were positive and many other relevant data points concerning COVID-19 are available at

N.B. §22 of the New York State's General Construction Law, in pertinent part, provides that “Whenever words of the masculine or feminine gender appear in any law, rule or regulation, unless the sense of the sentence indicates otherwise, they shall be deemed to refer to both male or female persons.” NYPPL applies this protocol to individuals referred to in a decision self-identifying as LGBTQA+.

April 1, 2011

Considering the value of toxicology reports in random drug tests

Considering the value of toxicology reports in random drug tests
Seeley v New York City, 269 AD2d 205

Are uncertified toxicology reports indicating positive drug test results sufficient to support a decision to terminate an employee? This was the issue presented by Clarice E. Seeley, a New York City police officer, who was terminated after being found guilty of testing positive for cocaine in a random drug test.

Seeley argued that due process required the court to vacate the police commissioner’s decision because it was not supported by substantial evidence. Seeley contended that the commissioner based his ruling on unreliable toxicology reports because they were not certified copies.

The Appellate Division was not impressed by this argument. After commenting that an administrative tribunal is not strictly bound by the rules of evidence, the court pointed out that foundation testimony by the toxicologist who supervised the testing and prepared the final toxicology reports was more than adequate to establish the authenticity and reliability of the copies of the reports entered into evidence.

Also noted was the fact that Seeley’s attorney declined the hearing officer’s invitation to examine the original toxicology reports before copies of them were received in evidence. The Appellate Division then sustained Seeley’s dismissal, commenting that the penalty does not shock our sense of fairness under the circumstances.

Public Personnel Law E-books

The Discipline Book - A concise guide to disciplinary actions involving public employees in New York State set out in a 700 page e-book. For more information click on

A Reasonable Disciplinary Penalty Under the Circumstances - A 442-page e-book focusing on determining an appropriate disciplinary penalty to be imposed on an employee in the public service in instances where the employee has been found guilty of misconduct or incompetence. Now available in two formats - as a large, paperback print edition and as an e-book. Click on for more information.

The Layoff, Preferred List and Reinstatement Manual - A 645 page e-book reviewing the relevant laws, rules and regulations, and selected court and administrative decisions. For more information click on

Disability Leave for fire, police and other public sector personnel - A 1098 page e-book focusing on disability benefits available to public officers and employees employed by New York State and its political subdivisions. For more information click on