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February 11, 2016

Terminated probationary employee has the burden of demonstrating an improper basis for his or her termination


Terminated probationary employee has the burden of demonstrating an improper basis for his or her termination
Francois v Walcott, 2016 NY Slip Op 00760, Appellate Division, First Department

The Appellate Division unanimously affirmed a determination by Supreme Court, New which denied the petition filed by Coquita Francois seeking to annul her termination during her probationary employee, to vacate her unsatisfactory rating for the 2012-2013 school year, and to reinstate her employment.

The Appellate Division explained that “[i]t is well established that a ‘probationary employee may be discharged for any or no reason at all in the absence of a showing that [the] dismissal was in bad faith, for a constitutionally impermissible purpose or in violation of law.’”

Francois, said the Appellate Division, failed to demonstrate an improper basis for the termination of her probationary employment. In contrast, the employer’s documentary evidence provided a rational basis for the determination that Francois’ job performance was unsatisfactory.

Although Francois disputed the principal's account of events and the principal's opinion of her job performance, the Appellate Division said that she “failed to show that certain irregularities in the review process demonstrated bad faith or deprived her of a substantial right” and dismissed her appeal.

The decision is posted on the Internet at:

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