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February 02, 2016

Name Clearing Hearings



Name Clearing Hearings
Stanziale v. Executive Dep't, Office of Gen. Servs., 55 N.Y.2d 735

Where the reason for the employee's termination from employment is claimed to be stigmatizing nature, the individual may demand a "name-clearing hearing."

Stanziale [petitioner] was a nontenured employee of the Office of General Services [OGS] at the time of his termination. As the courts held in Holbrook v State Insurance Fund, 54 N.Y.2d 892 and James v Board of Education, 37 N.Y.2d 891, where the employee is "nontenured", in the absence of individual showing that the termination was for constitutionally impermissible reasons or prohibited by statute or policies established by decisional law, the appointing authority is free to effect the termination without giving any reason for the dismissal and without holding a "pre-termination" hearing.

In Stanziale case the Court of Appeals said that its review of the record shows that these "proscriptions were not violated."

Citing Board of Regents v Roth, 408 US 564, the Court of Appeals said that even if the reason OGS elected to provide regarding the petitioner's termination could be said to have been stigmatizing, any hearing to which Stanziale might have bee entitled was accorded to him.

Finding that the challenged termination was neither arbitrary nor capricious and was made in good faith, the Court of Appeals observed that there was a rational basis for the appointing authority's rejecting the recommendation of the hearing officer and dismissing petitioner for the offense.

Accordingly, the only relief petitioner could demand was a "name-clearing hearing" in view of the court concluding that his termination was neither arbitrary nor capricious and was made in good faith. 



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