July 2, 2021

Consideration of mitigating circumstanses tempers the typical penalty - termination - imposed on an employee who submits a fraudulent medical notes after being absent from work

Although termination is frequently the penalty imposed on a wrongdoer for submitting a fraudulent medical notes to excuse an absence, New York City Office of Tribunals and Hearings Administrative Law Judge Faye Lewis found that in this case it would be excessive. Instead Judge Lewis recommended that the employee be give a penalty of a 60-day suspension without pay.

The employee submitted fraudulent medical notes regarding a seven-day absence from work acknowledged that he altered medical notes to show doctor’s appointments on some of the dates that he was absent from work.

ALJ Lewis credited the employee’s testimony that he fabricated the notes using Write-Out in a panicked, emotional state after his supervisor denied his request for emergency personal leave, which respondent sought because his wife was suicidal and he needed to be home to care for his young daughter.

Although termination is often the penalty imposed for the submission of fraudulent medical notes, the ALJ found that in this case it would be excessive, noting that although the employee’s conduct was a serious error in judgment, his otherwise flawless 16-year record and the extraordinary mitigating circumstances made her recommendation of a penalty of 60 days suspension more appropriate.

Click HEREto access Judge Lewis' findings and recommendation.

 

CAUTION

Subsequent court and administrative rulings, or changes to laws, rules and regulations may have modified or clarified or vacated or reversed the decisions summarized here. Accordingly, these summaries should be Shepardized® or otherwise checked to make certain that the most recent information is being considered by the reader.
THE MATERIAL ON THIS WEBSITE IS FOR INFORMATION ONLY. AGAIN, CHANGES IN LAWS, RULES, REGULATIONS AND NEW COURT AND ADMINISTRATIVE DECISIONS MAY AFFECT THE ACCURACY OF THE INFORMATION PROVIDED IN THIS LAWBLOG. THE MATERIAL PRESENTED IS NOT LEGAL ADVICE AND THE USE OF ANY MATERIAL POSTED ON THIS WEBSITE DOES NOT CREATE AN ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP.
Consistent with the Declaration of Principles jointly adopted by a Committee of the American Bar Association and a Committee of Publishers and Associations, the material in this blog is presented with the understanding that neither the publisher nor members of the staff are providing legal advice to the reader and in the event legal or other expert assistance is needed, the reader is advised to seek such advice from a competent professional.