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June 21, 2013

Employee testified that his use of “Nazi” and “Fascist” directed towards his supervisors constituted profanity and was intended to be offensive

Employee testified that his use of  “Nazi” and “Fascist” directed towards his supervisors constituted profanity and was intended to be offensive
NYC Dept. of Corrections v RM, OATH Index No. 651/13

RM, an employee of the NYC Department of Corrections, was served with disciplinary charges alleging that he acted in a disrespectful manor towards his supervisors, that he failed to obey an order to submit a report, he performed doing less work than his co-employees, that he refused to perform certain duties and that he had made false entries into Department records.

OATH Administrative Law Judge Astrid B. Gloade found that RM called his supervisors “Nazis” and “Fascists,” refused to conduct workshops to assist inmates, and processed less than one percent of the discharge letters issued by his three-person unit.

The ALJ said that RM had testified that the use of “Nazi” and “Fascist” to him amounts to profanity, which Judge Gloade viewed as indicating that RM’s intent was to offend his supervisors.

Further, Judge Gloade said that RM only expressed remorse that his statements, meant to be insults, “might not have hit their mark” because he “realized [his supervisors] didn't even know what [he] was talking about because they weren't even around when Nazis were current events.”

RM’s own testimony, said Judge Gloade, established that he directed highly inappropriate remarks towards his supervisors.

However, the ALJ found the Department did not prove that RM failed to submit a report when ordered to do so nor did it prove that he made false entries in Department documents with the intent to defraud.

Finding RM guilty of the remaining allegations of misconduct, ALJ Gloade recommended that the appointing authority suspend RM for 45 days without pay.

N.B. In Matter of Shafer, 2013 NY Slip Op 04571, Appellate Division, Third Department, an individual dismissed from her employment for “insubordinate behavior” that included rude, disrespectful and hostile conduct,was found guilty of disqualifying misconduct for the purposes of eligibility for Unemployment Insurance benefits by the Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board.

The decision is posted on the Internet at:
http://archive.citylaw.org/oath/13_Cases/13-651.pdf

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