February 08, 2021

A two-year gap between the employee's alleged protected activity and the alleged adverse action by the employer held "too remote to warrant an inference of causal connection."

The Appellate Division affirmed Supreme Court's determination that Petitioner [Plaintiff]  failed to demonstrate that the New York City Department of Education's [DOE] determination to discontinue her probationary position as assistant principal "'was for a constitutionally impermissible purpose, violative of a statute, or done in bad faith."

Plaintiff' had alleged that the discontinuance was in retaliation for her purported refusal to negatively evaluate two teachers. Supreme Court found that Plaintiff's  "unsupported allegation failed to evidence bad faith". 

The Appellate Division's decision indicates that there was a two-year gap between the alleged protected activity and thus any adverse action by DOE was "too remote to warrant an inference of causal connection."

In addition, the Appellate Division said that the record "includes evidence of disciplinary letters showing dissatisfaction with [Plaintiff's] work performance that predate the alleged protected activity, demonstrating DOE's good faith and its refuting the allegation of retaliation.

The Appellate Division also opined that Plaintiff's claim that her annual work performance ratings are unfair and inaccurate, even if true, did not establish bad faith on the part of DOE in view of the fact that Plaintiff failed to show that the issuance of the unsatisfactory rating which preceded her discontinuance was arbitrary and capricious.

Click HEREto access the Appellate Division's decision.

 

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