December 29, 2020

Emergency Medical Technician found guilty of disciplinary charges alleging that he addressed vulgar language to a triage nurse is suspended without pay

The New York City Fire Department [Department] served disciplinary charges on an Emergency Medical Technician [EMT] alleging that the EMT used vulgar language in the course of his responding to a work-related question posed by a hospital triage nurse in violation of Department rules. This, the Department contended, "created a hostile work environment."

At the disciplinary hearing that followed, the Department presented documentary evidence and testimony given by the EMT's coworker and a nurse who had overheard the EMT's response to the triage nurse. The EMT testified that he did not recall the incident but did not challenge the charge in the light of the testimony of the Department's witnesses.

OATH Administrative Law Judge Ingrid M. Addison found the EMT guilty of violating five of the six rules he was alleged to have violated and recommended that the EMT be suspended from his employment without pay for 45 day.

Then Judge Addison, noting that EMT's misconduct was based on a single incident, opined that imposing "a single penalty" was appropriate under the circumstances and so recommended to the Department.

The decision is posted on the Internet at http://archive.citylaw.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/17/oath/20_cases/20-1798.pdf

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