December 1, 2020

An impartial arbitrator or hearing officer is essential to providing administrative due process

Supreme Court vacated an arbitration award that had been made in the Employee's favor. The employee appealed Supreme Court's ruling. 

The Appellate Division unanimously affirmed the lower court's decision.

The Appellate Division opined that "clear and convincing evidence" supported Supreme Court's  finding of bias on the part of the arbitrator against the employer, the New York City Department of Education [DOE], concluding that such bias warranted vacating the arbitrator's award made in favor of the employee.

The Appellate Division noted that the arbitrator:

1. Made findings against DOE that were either entirely unsupported or directly refuted by the record;

2. Repeatedly interrupted DOE's examination of witnesses;

3. Repeatedly reminded witnesses that the employee's job was at stake;

4. Assisted the employee's counsel in cross-examining witnesses; and

5. Refused to permit DOE's counsel to make a record.

The decision is posted on the Internet at http://www.nycourts.gov/reporter/3dseries/2020/2020_06959.htm

 

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