Friday, November 20, 2015

Court finds procedures followed that resulted in an employee’s unsatisfactory performance rating “undermined the integrity and fairness of the process”


Court finds procedures followed that resulted in an employee’s unsatisfactory performance rating “undermined the integrity and fairness of the process”
St. Vil v Board of Educ. of the City Sch. Dist. of the City of N.Y., 2015 NY Slip Op 08085, Appellate Division, First Department

In this action Jean St. Vil, a school teacher employed by the New York City Department of Education, challenged the unsatisfactory rating [U-rating] he was given for the school year. Supreme Court sustained St. Vil’s U-rating and he appealed.

The Appellate Division unanimously reversed the Supreme Court’s ruling on the law and vacated St. Vil’s U-rating for the school year, explaining that his rating was “not merely technical but undermined the integrity and fairness of the process.”

The court said that record demonstrates the deficiencies in the performance review process resulting in St. Vil’s unsatisfactory rating, which was based primarily on the principal's alleged personal observations as a rating officer. However, St. Vil never received any post-observation reports by the rating officer until the U-rating appeal hearing and the principal did not claim to have spoken with St. Vil following the alleged observations nor were comments critical of St. Vil's performance placed in his file.

Further, said the Appellate Division, there is no evidence that St. Vil was notified before the end of the school year that his work was considered unsatisfactory and the “mere fact that he had the assistance of a guidance counselor and literary coach at some time during the school year did not constitute warning that he was at risk of an unsatisfactory rating since [St. Vil] was never told that he was not improving in the areas of concern despite this assistance.”

The Appellate Division then remanded the matter to the Department of Education for further proceedings.

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:

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Challenging Adverse Personnel Decisions 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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