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January 16, 2013

Recent NYC Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings [OATH] decisions


Recent NYC Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings [OATH] decisions 

OATH Index No. 1780/12
After a bridge and tunnel officer (“BTO”) took offense upon discovering his leave request status form posted on an employee bulletin board, he posted a profane note next to the form, directed at “who ever put” his personal information on the board. The only personal information contained on the leave form, however, was the officer’s last name.
OATH Administrative Law Judge Kara J. Miller found that writing and posting the obscene missive was misconduct.
The ALJ rejected the officer’s argument that the posting was permissible “shop talk”, noting that while it might not be uncommon for BTOs to use profanity on the job, this was not a verbal outburst made in the heat of the moment, but a deliberate statement, publicly posted and directed at a supervisor.
The recommended penalty was a 30-day suspension.
Judge Miller’s ruling is posted on the Internet at: Triborough Bridge & Tunnel Auth. v. McAllister (in PDF),

OATH Index No. 2059/12 

Evidence was introduced in a disciplinary hearing held before OATH Administrative Law Judge Alessandra Zorgniotti showing that a community associate was absent on 223 occasions and late on 35 occasions during a 13-month period.

Such evidence, the ALJ concluded, proved the excessive absence and the lateness charges and specifications filed against the individual.

ALJ Zorgniotti found that although "excessive absenc" was not specifically defined by the agency's rules, the sheer number of absences proven were excessive per se and recommended that the community associate be terminated. The Appointing Authority adopted the ALJ's recommendation and dismissed the individual.

Judge Zorgniotti’s decision is posted on the Internet at:  Dep’t of Buildings v. Rodriguez (in PDF).


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