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July 21, 2011

Using an employee personnel files to determine an appropriate disciplinary penalty

Using an employee personnel files to determine an appropriate disciplinary penalty
Bigelow v Trustees of the Village of Gouverneur, 63 NY2d 470

Perhaps the leading case concerning the use of an employee's personnel records in disciplinary procedures is the Court of Appeals’ decision in Bigelow v Trustees of the Village of Gouverneur

In Bigelow, the Court of Appeals held that if a civil service employee is found guilty of misconduct, a public employer may consider material included in the employee's personnel files in determining the appropriate sanction.

The employee, however, must first be advised of the information in his or her personnel record that the appointing authority will consider in determining the penalty and then must be given an opportunity to submit a written response concerning that information.

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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.
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