May 17, 2018

Employee penalized 60-day suspension without pay after striking a patient and failing to report the incident


Employee penalized 60-day suspension without pay after striking a patient and failing to report the incident
OATH Index No. 584/1

A New York City Emergency Medical Technician [EMT] twice struck a handcuffed, emotionally disturbed patient after the patient had spat at her. The EMT also failed to report the incident to a supervisor as required.

OATH Administrative Law Judge Kevin F. Casey found that the EMT was provoked but ruled that such provocation did not excuse the EMT's action.

Although the ALJ credited EMT’s testimony that she did not intend to injure the patient and found the act to be an aberration, Judge Casey concluded that "A very substantial penalty short of termination, resulting in loss of pay for two months, would give appropriate weight to the mitigating circumstance, but would also make clear to [the EMT], her colleagues, and the public that striking an emotionally disturbed patient and failing to report it are unacceptable." 

The ALJ recommended the imposition of a sixty-day suspension without pay with credit for pre-hearing suspension time served as the EMT's penalty.

The decision is posted on the Internet at:

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