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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Using the services of a private entity to select and provide qualified medical personnel to conduct medical examination required by Civil Service Law §72.1



Using the services of a private entity to select and provide qualified medical personnel to conduct medical examination required by Civil Service Law §72.1
Agency v Anonymous, OATH Index #866/14  

Civil Service Law §72.1, in pertinent part, provides: “When in the judgment of an appointing authority an employee is unable to perform the duties of his or her position by reason of a disability, other than a disability resulting from occupational injury or disease as defined in the workers' compensation law, the appointing authority may require such employee to undergo a medical examination to be conducted by a medical officer selected by the civil service department or municipal commission having jurisdiction.”

In the course of a hearing brought pursuant to §72 of the Civil Service Law,* Anonymous contended that the statutory requirement providing for the selection of the physicians who were to examine her was violated because she was examined by doctors who were selected by a private entity, JurisSolutions,** and not by physicians selected by the Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS).

OATH Administrative Law Judge Kevin A. Casey found that the controlling provisions of the Civil Service Law were complied with, holding that DCAS’s delegation of the task of recruiting qualified medical specialists to perform §72 fitness-for-duty examinations to JurisSolutions did not constitute an unlawful delegation of its statutory authority.

Judge Casey found that while JurisSolutions employed the physicians who examined Anonymous, DCAS maintained control over the process by specifying minimum criteria for each specialty and retaining, in its the sole discretion, the authority to reject a doctor named by JurisSolutions to conduct the examination.*** Accordingly, said the ALJ, DCAS “did not unlawfully delegate its authority by contracting with a vendor to provide qualified, independent doctors to perform fit-for-duty examinations.”

Further, the ALJ found that Anonymous failed to show prejudice on the part of the independent and well qualified physicians who examined her..

Judge Casey's findings and recommendation were adopted by the appointing authority.

* Civil Service Law §72.1 provides that “An employee shall be allowed ten working   days from service of the notice to object to the imposition of the   proposed leave of absence and to request a hearing.

** JurisSolutions is a vendor selected by the New York Department of Citywide Administrative Services to provide qualified medical personnel in designated specialties “to conduct fitness-for-duty examinations.”

*** DCAS's delegation of its administrative authority appears to comply with the guidelines set out by the U.S. Supreme Court in Schechter Poultry Corp. v. United States, 295 U.S. 495, in addressing the delegation of legislative powers by Congress.
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Handbooks focusing on State and Municipal Public Personnel Law continue to be available for purchase via the links provided below:

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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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