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Nominations sought for the Empire Star Public Service Award

This award recognizes exemplary employees of New York State serving in the Executive Branch.

Nominations must be submitted no later than December 15, 2017 and may be completed online.

For more information about the Empire Star Public Service Award, visit www.ny.gov/EmpireStarPublicService.

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Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Inability to satisfactorily perform the duties of the position due to an alleged disability


Inability to satisfactorily perform the duties of the position due to an alleged disability
OATH Index No. 858/16

The appointing authority alleged that a Computer Associate was unfit to perform his job after employer proved that he had difficulty keeping up with technological changes and was confrontational when interacting with co-workers and supervisors. Designated “a disability proceeding” it was submitted to the Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings pursuant to §72 of the Civil Service Law [CSL].

Finding that the employer had demonstrated that employee is currently unfit for the duties of his job,* Oath Administrative Law Judge Alessandra F. Zorgniotti recommended that the employee be placed on an Involuntary Leave of Absence, explaining that in order to place an employee on an involuntary medical leave pursuant to CSL §72, the employer must prove by a preponderance of the evidence that: (i) employee suffers from a disability, (ii) he of she is unable to competently perform his or her job duties, and (iii) his or her inability to perform is caused by a disability.

ALJ Zorgniotti also observed that: “The focus of the §72 proceeding is on the employee’s current fitness and ability to perform his or her job duties, not on his or her past condition or work performance” and that “[p]ast performance is relevant only to the extent that it is probative of [the employee’s] present condition and future conduct.”

Noting that “[a]n essential part of fitness to work in any job assignment is an ability to work with and be supervised by others, without being disruptive or abusive”, Judge Zorgniotti said earlier OATH decisions indicated that a “finding of unfitness is supported where an employee denies the existence of a disability. or refuses to treat it, [and there is competent medical evidence to the contrary] thereby creating a greater risk of future recurrence of the disability.” 

* Judge Alessandra F. Zorgniotti noted that employee’s behavior continued to be disruptive even after supervisors had made efforts to simplify his job, action that could be deemed to an effort to provide a reasonable accommodation of the employee's disability.

The appointing authority adopted the ALJ’s findings and recommendation.  
  
The decision is posted on the Internet at:
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The Disability Benefits E-book:- This e-book focuses on disability benefits available to officers and employees in public service pursuant to Civil Service Law §§71, 72 and 73, General Municipal Law §207-a and §207-c, the Retirement and Social Security Law, the Workers’ Compensation Law, and similar provisions of law. For more information click on: http://booklocker.com/3916.html
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Handbooks focusing on State and Municipal Public Personnel Law continue to be available for purchase via the links provided below:

The Discipline Book at http://thedisciplinebook.blogspot.com/

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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