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State of New York vs. COVID-19 - Governor Andrew M. Cuomo periodically updates New Yorkers on the state's progress during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The latest reports of the number of new cases, the percentage of tests that were positive and many other relevant data points concerning COVID-19 are available at

N.B. §22 of the New York State's General Construction Law, in pertinent part, provides that “Whenever words of the masculine or feminine gender appear in any law, rule or regulation, unless the sense of the sentence indicates otherwise, they shall be deemed to refer to both male or female persons.” NYPPL applies this protocol to individuals referred to in a decision self-identifying as LGBTQA+.

March 2, 2021

An employer may rely on its medical expert's opinion if there are conflicting medical opinions as to an applicant's ability to perform the duties of the position

Supreme Court granted the New York City Fire Department's [NYFD] motion to dismiss Plaintiff's CPLR Article 78 petition challenging NYFD's decision disqualifying him for appointment the position of firefighter for medical reasons. Plaintiff's appeal from the Supreme Court's decision was sustained by the Appellate Division, which found that NYFD's decision was not arbitrary and capricious, or without a rational basis.

Citing Matter of Rivers v New York City Dept. of Sanitation, 49 AD3d 436, the court said that the record indicated that Plaintiff "had profound sensorineural hearing loss in his left ear," which, under the standards promulgated by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), was grounds to disqualify him from appointment to the position of firefighter

NYFD's physician had considered Plaintiff's medical submissions and letters from his former colleagues, but ultimately determined that his unequal hearing would interfere with his ability to perform search and rescue operations safely, as well as tasks requiring an ability to localize faint sounds in high-noise environments.

NYFD's physician also opined that Plaintiff's hearing loss in his left ear was progressive and would further impair his ability to serve as a firefighter. 

Although Plaintiff's physicians had reached a different conclusion, the Appellate Division said that these different conclusions on the part of Plaintiff's physicians  "does not render [NYFD's] medical examiner's conclusions arbitrary and capricious."

Click HERE to access the Appellate Division's decision.


Public Personnel Law E-books

The Discipline Book - A concise guide to disciplinary actions involving public employees in New York State set out in a 700 page e-book. For more information click on

A Reasonable Disciplinary Penalty Under the Circumstances - A 442-page e-book focusing on determining an appropriate disciplinary penalty to be imposed on an employee in the public service in instances where the employee has been found guilty of misconduct or incompetence. Now available in two formats - as a large, paperback print edition and as an e-book. Click on for more information.

The Layoff, Preferred List and Reinstatement Manual - A 645 page e-book reviewing the relevant laws, rules and regulations, and selected court and administrative decisions. For more information click on

Disability Leave for fire, police and other public sector personnel - A 1098 page e-book focusing on disability benefits available to public officers and employees employed by New York State and its political subdivisions. For more information click on