ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE IS NOT USED, IN WHOLE OR IN PART, IN THE SUMMARIES OF JUDICIAL AND QUASI-JUDICIAL DECISIONS PREPARED BY NYPPL PERSONNEL

July 22, 2011

Irresistible impulse as a defense in a disciplinary action


Irresistible impulse as a defense in a disciplinary action
Perry v Comm. of Labor, 283 AD2d 754

Readers may recall that in the 1959 movie Anatomy of a Murder actor James Stewart successfully defended an individual indicted for murder on the theory his client's actions were the product of an “irresistible impulse.”

Unemployment insurance claimant John K. Perry was not as successful with this theory in challenging a determination by the Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board denying him benefits after finding that his employment was terminated due to his misconduct.

The nature of Perry's alleged misconduct: his misuse of his employer's computer equipment.

Perry, a human resource specialist, was terminated after his employer discovered that he used his computer terminal to frequently access pornographic websites during working hours.

Perry's defense: his behavior was nonvolitional given his “impulse control disorder”. He produced a letter from his psychologist indicating that he suffered from posttraumatic stress disorder displayed in the form of obsessive behavior such as accessing pornographic websites. However, said the court, the evidence failed to establish that Perry was unable to control this impulse while working.

The Appellate Division's conclusion:

Since Perry disregarded his employer's policy against accessing inappropriate websites at work, substantial evidence supports the Board's decision that Perry lost his employment due to disqualifying misconduct.

CAUTION

Subsequent court and administrative rulings, or changes to laws, rules and regulations may have modified or clarified or vacated or reversed the decisions summarized here. Accordingly, these summaries should be Shepardized® or otherwise checked to make certain that the most recent information is being considered by the reader.
THE MATERIAL ON THIS WEBSITE IS FOR INFORMATION ONLY. AGAIN, CHANGES IN LAWS, RULES, REGULATIONS AND NEW COURT AND ADMINISTRATIVE DECISIONS MAY AFFECT THE ACCURACY OF THE INFORMATION PROVIDED IN THIS LAWBLOG. THE MATERIAL PRESENTED IS NOT LEGAL ADVICE AND THE USE OF ANY MATERIAL POSTED ON THIS WEBSITE, OR CORRESPONDENCE CONCERNING SUCH MATERIAL, DOES NOT CREATE AN ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP.
New York Public Personnel Law Blog Editor Harvey Randall served as Principal Attorney, New York State Department of Civil Service; Director of Personnel, SUNY Central Administration; Director of Research, Governor’s Office of Employee Relations; and Staff Judge Advocate General, New York Guard. Consistent with the Declaration of Principles jointly adopted by a Committee of the American Bar Association and a Committee of Publishers and Associations, the material posted to this blog is presented with the understanding that neither the publisher nor NYPPL and, or, its staff and contributors are providing legal advice to the reader and in the event legal or other expert assistance is needed, the reader is urged to seek such advice from a knowledgeable professional.
New York Public Personnel Law. Email: publications@nycap.rr.com