Thursday, August 11, 2011

Employee terminated after ignoring an order to report for a “fit-for-duty” examination


Employee terminated after ignoring an order to report for a “fit-for-duty” examination
DiLauria v Town of Harrison, 285 AD2d 464

Town of Harrison police officer Steven DiLauria was terminated from his position after being found guilty of insubordination following a disciplinary hearing. The Appellate Division sustained his dismissal, finding that the department's determination that DiLauria had disobeyed two lawful orders given to him by Town of Harrison Chief of Police David Hall was supported by substantial evidence

The decision states that Chief Hall had directed DiLauria to report to Lieutenant Michael Kamensky for duty effective December 3, 1999, at 9:00 a.m. Although DiLauria “appeared outside of Lieutenant Kamensky's office on December 3 after 9:00 a.m., he did not report to Kamensky for duty as instructed.”

Kamensky and DiLauria then met with Chief Hall. During the meeting DiLauria if he could have the day off. Chief Hall denied the request and told Lieutenant Kamensky that DiLauria was assigned to him for duty. He then issued an order directing the DiLauria to report for a fit-for-duty examination at 2:00 p.m. that afternoon.

The decision reports that DiLauria responded to these directives by throwing the order on Chief Hall's desk and then “stormed out of the meeting.” Lieutenant Kamensky did not see the DiLauria again on December 3, 1999, nor did DiLauria appear for the fit-for-duty examination as directed.

Based on this record, the Appellate Division said that the penalty of dismissal “is not so disproportionate to the offenses as to be shocking to one's sense of fairness,” noting that DiLauria had previously been suspended for disobeying an order and “police departments are quasi-military organizations requiring strict discipline.

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

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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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