April 25, 2017

Assessing the appropriate penalty to be imposed for unprofessional and disrespectful language in the workplace

Assessing the appropriate penalty to be imposed on an employee found guilty unprofessional conduct and using disrespectful language at the workplace
OATH Index No. 0073/17

A New York City Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings Administrative Law Judge [ALJ] found that an Eligibility Specialist employed by the City's Human Resources Administration [HRAHHRA] inefficiently performed her duties by holding seven cases for 22 or more days and delaying the processing of a client’s application for months.

In addition, Judge Ingrid M. Addison found that the Eligibility Specialist violated multiple rules of HRA's Code of Conduct by being verbally abusive to co-workers at her workplace; failed to efficiently perform her duties; was insolent to, and refused to meet with, HRA's deputy director when directed to do so, was discourteous to a client in the presence of other clients and failed to follow a supervisor’s instructions.

Finding that HRA, however, failed to prove other Charges and Specifications of misconduct alleged in the notice of discipline served upon her.

Considering the record made at the Civil Service Law §75 disciplinary hearing, the ALJ recommended that the Eligibility Specialist be suspended from her employment without pay for 30 days, the penalty urged by HRA, commenting that "Even though [HRA] did not prove the five charges [preferred against the employee] in their entirety, I find [HRA's] request to be appropriate."

The decision is posted on the Internet at: