Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Disqualifying misconduct for the purposes of Unemployment Insurance benefits

Disqualifying misconduct for the purposes of Unemployment Insurance benefits
Matter of Jacquelyn M. Cody v Commissioner of Labor, 37 AD3d 920

Jacquelyn M. Cody, a tenured guidance counselor employed by the New York City Department of Education, was served with disciplinary charges pursuant Section 3020-a of the Education Law . The charges set out 42 specifications of misconduct for actions she committed during the 2001-2002 and 2002-2003 school years.

The Section 3020-a hearing panel found Cody guilty of 38 specifications of conduct unbecoming her profession.*

Terminated from her position, Cody applied for unemployment insurance benefits.

Ultimately, the Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board determined that Cody was disqualified from receiving such benefits because she lost her employment due to misconduct. Cody appealed the Board’s decision.

Citing Limoncelli [Commissioner of Labor], 32 AD3d 1066, the Appellate Division sustained the Board’s ruling. The court said that that “An employee's actions that are contrary to established policies and have a detrimental effect upon an employer's interests have been found to constitute disqualifying misconduct.”

Finding that there was substantial evidence in the record that Cody’s behavior represented “a departure from established procedures pertinent to faculty members engaged in similar activities or confronted by like circumstances,” the Appellate Division dismissed her appeal.

The decision is posted on the Internet at:

* According to the decision, Cody’s “transgressions include her failure to report the possession of illegal drugs by one of her students, attempts to surreptitiously distribute an unauthorized survey on school property, and 36 instances of improper revisions to student records or transcripts.”

Handbooks focusing on State and Municipal Public Personnel Law continue to be available for purchase via the links provided below:

The Discipline Book at http://thedisciplinebook.blogspot.com/

Challenging Adverse Personnel Decisions at http://nypplarchives.blogspot.com

The Disability Benefits E-book: at http://section207.blogspot.com/

Layoff, Preferred Lists at http://nylayoff.blogspot.com/

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