Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The placement of an individual’s name on the NYC Department of Education’s “Ineligible/Inquiry List” essentially bars future employment with the Department


The placement of an individual’s name on the NYC Department of Education’s “Ineligible/Inquiry List” essentially bars future employment with the Department
2014 NY Slip Op 05047, Appellate Division, First Department

As the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said in Segal v NYC Department of Education, 459 F3d 207, the placement of an individual’s name on the New York City Department of Education’s “Ineligible/Inquiry List” essentially render the individual ineligible for future employment with the New York City Department of Education [DOE].*

In this Article 78 action Supreme Court denied a former tenured teacher’s [Teacher] petition seeking to, among other things, remove her name from an "ineligible/inquiry list" maintained by the New York City Department of Education (DOE), and dismissed the proceeding. The Appellate Division affirmed the lower court’s ruling.

DOE placed had place Teacher’s name on the "ineligible/inquiry list" after her employment as a tenured school teacher was terminated following a disciplinary hearing pursuant to Education Law §3020-a.

The Appellate Division held that Supreme Court “properly found that the proceeding is time-barred, since it was commenced some five months after Teacher received notice of the DOE's determination,” explaining that Teacher is deemed to be on notice of the DOE Chancellor regulation regarding automatic ineligibility for reemployment upon termination.”

Accordingly, Teacher was "aggrieved" for the purposes of the running of the statute of limitations upon notice of her termination and her commencement of her CPLR Article 78 action more than four months later was untimely.

In addition, the Appellate Division pointed out that Teacher’s Article 78 proceeding was also barred by the Doctrine of Collateral Estoppel insofar as Teacher sought to re-litigate issues determined in a prior CPLR Article 75 proceeding challenging the termination of her employment.

In the words of the court, Teacher’s “challenge to her placement on the ineligibility list is, for all intents and purposes, a challenge to her termination, which she already had a full and fair opportunity to litigate.”

* A DOE Chancellor regulation provides that placement of an individual’s name on the list is an automatic consequence of termination and indicates that individual is ineligible for reemployment with the DOE absent express approval by the Chancellor.
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