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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Personality problem held a valid ground for dismissal under the circumstances

Personality problem held a valid ground for dismissal under the circumstances
112 Misc. 2d 10, reversed, 89 A.D.2d 778 

From time to time it becomes necessary for an employer to attempt to resolve what it views as a chronic personality difficulty with an employee. Is discipline appropriate in such a case?

Yes, according to a decision of the Appellate Division.

The employee had been told on many occasions that his conduct and attitude disrupted and interfered with the work of his subordinates, the teaching staff of the school and the administrative staff of the District.

Eventually charges were brought against the employee pursuant to §75 of the Civil Service Law and he was terminated.

Although Supreme Court ruled that the penalty imposed, dismissal, was excessive because the charges only involved matters of personal relationships with other employees and staff members of the School District, the Appellate Division reversed that holding.

The Appellate Division commented that the penalty did not shock its sense of fair treatment and upheld the dismissal of the employee, explaining that although the employee “had a long record of competent service unblemished except for this continuing personality problem and the incidents ... are relatively minor ... they assume an importance out of all proportion because of the disruptive effect such behavior had on the harmonious operation of the school”.

The decision notes that the principal of the school where the employee served was “required to spend a substantial and inordinate amount of time resolving personnel problems arising because of [the employee’s] attitude and conduct”.


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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