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November 15, 2011

Provisional employee gets “name clearing hearing”


Provisional employee gets “name clearing hearing”
Matter of Brathwaite, Appellate Division, 70 AD2d 810

Although agreeing that provisional employees have no property right in a particular position and, therefore, are not entitled to a pre-termination hearing under the Civil Service Law, the Court ordered a “name clearing hearing” on the claim that the employee’s “good name, reputation, honor or integrity is at stake”. The reason given for the discharge, disclosing confidential material that the employer alleged was disseminated by the employer.

The employee, a teacher, denied the allegation but was nevertheless separated.

The Court held that the alleged dissemination adversely reflected on her record as a teacher and diminished her ability to secure similar employment. The opportunity to be heard was deemed essential to due process.

N.B. Should an individual prevail in a "name-clearing" hearing, all that he or she is entitled to is a "cleared name" and his or her success does not automatically result in his or her reinstatement to his or her former position.

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