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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 29, 2021

Dismissal of an employee before completion of the probationary period

Citing Matter of Childs v Board of Educ. of the City Sch. Dist. of the City of N.Y., 176 AD3d 560, the Appellate Division unanimously affirmed Supreme Court's denial of the Plaintiff's petition seeking a court order annulling his former employer's determination dismissing Plaintiff from his employment as a probationary teacher. The court's decision notes that a probationary employee may be terminated "without a hearing for any reason or no reason at all, as long as the dismissal was not unlawful or in bad faith".

The court said that the record supported a finding that Plaintiff was terminated in good faith as it was based on Plaintiff's "declining performance evaluations and incidents of disciplinary misconduct" which the employer had documented over a period of several months.

As to Plaintiff's claim that he was terminated in retaliation for his reporting another teacher's alleged misconduct involving a student, the Appellate Division opined that this argument was speculative in light of the evidence in the record of Plaintiff's "deficient work performance and his disciplinary misconduct."

With respect to the termination of an employee before the competition of the appointee's maximum period of probation, in York v McGuire, 63 NY2d 760, the Court of Appeals set out the basic rule with respect to the dismissal of probationary employees. In York the high court held that "[a]fter completing his or her minimum period of probation and prior to completing his or her maximum period of probation, a probationary employee can be dismissed without a hearing and without a statement of reasons, as long as there is no proof that the dismissal was done for a constitutionally impermissible purpose, or in violation of statutory or decisional law, or the decision was made in bad faith."

In the event the appointing authority decides to dismiss an employee during the minimum probationary period, the employee is entitled to the notice and hearing that would otherwise be available to a tenure employee. 

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