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Monday, April 22, 2013

Court rules that the disciplinary penalty imposed by the arbitrator after finding the employee guilty “well-tailored to the misconduct” charged


Court rules that the disciplinary penalty imposed by the arbitrator after finding the employee guilty “well-tailored to the misconduct” charged

Disciplinary charges were filed against a teacher including an allegation that the teacher had made a remark comparing the elementary school where she worked "to the shootings and killings of individuals in the Iraq war."

The arbitrator found a teacher guilty of the disciplinary charges filed against her and imposed a fine of $8,000 and directing that the teacher receive up to 48 hours of pedagogical training.

The teacher appealed but Supreme Court confirmed the arbitration award and dismissed the proceeding, which decision was unanimously affirmed by the Appellate Division.
The Appellate Division explained while making the remark, the teacher stood up and feigned pulling the trigger of a gun, which was worrisome to her colleagues.

As to the teacher’s claim that the arbitrator had gone beyond that which he was authorized to hear, the Appellate Division ruled that the There exists no basis to disturb the credibility determinations of the arbitrator arbitrator's reference to teacher's miming of shooting a gun flowed naturally from the credited witnesses' testimony, and did not go beyond what the arbitrator was authorized to hear.

Finding that the charges preferred against teacher specifically notified her of the misconduct that she was accused of and were sufficiently specific to permit petitioner to prepare her defense, the court sustained the arbitrator’s decision and the penalty he imposed, ruling that it did not shock the court’s sense of fairness and in fact was well-tailored to the misconduct of which teacher was found guilty.

The decision is posted on the Internet at:

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

The Discipline Book at http://thedisciplinebook.blogspot.com/

A Reasonable Penalty Under The Circumstances 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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