September 07, 2018

Summaries of recent New York City Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings decisions


Summaries of recent New York City Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings decisions
Source: New York City Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings 

Excessive absences
Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings , OATH Index No. 108/18

OATH Administrative Law Judge Kara J. Miller sustained a charge of excessive absence for a New York City  eligibility specialist [Respondent] who was absent 149 days during a 15-month period.

ALJ Miller noted that even if Respondent's absences were authorized or documented, they still counted towards her total number of absences because she was charged with excessive absenteeism, not unauthorized absences.

Although the agency’s rules do not define what constitutes excessive absence, relevant factors such as the Respondent’s absentee rate was 61 percent, that many of her absences were unplanned, that she exhausted her leave balances, that she received warnings about her attendance, and that her absences had a negative impact on her unit, established the charge of excessive absenteeism.

As Respondent was previously disciplined for similar misconduct, termination of her employment was recommended.



Employee's testimony concerning routes taken and time worked corroborated by GPS evidence
Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings , OATH Index No. 1417/18

Respondent, a New York City traffic device maintainer, was found to have failed to secure his tools and failed to keep his truck clean.

OATH Administrative Law Judge Joycelyn McGeachy-Kuls dismissed a charge that Respondent failed to timely report to his field work assignment.

Further, Judge McGeachy-Kuls found Respondent's testimony regarding routes taken and time worked, corroborated by GPS evidence, was credible. A three-day suspension was imposed for the proven misconduct.

The decision is posted on the Internet at:


Termination recommended worker who refused to submit to a drug test following an accident at work and was found guilty of other charges
Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings , OATH Index No. 1566/

A New York City sanitation worker [Respondent] was charged with refusing an order to take a drug test following an accident, under Department rules which require a test after an accident causing “significant equipment or property damage.”

The evidence showed that the Respondent drove a front-end loader which hit a salt spreader. The spreader had to be taken out of service and was repaired by two metal repair technicians.

Four supervisors examined the damage and all concluded it was significant. ALJ Spooner found the Department had a sufficient basis to order the drug test. He also credited a supervisor’s testimony that after he ordered the Respondent to take the test, the Respondent left the garage.

The Respondent also failed to submit documentation for emergency leave, used an ethnic slur in a report, and failed to report to the clinic as directed.

The ALJ recommended that the appointing authority terminate the Respondent.

The decision is posted on the Internet at:


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