A research assistant was charged for conduct which resulted in off-duty, off-premises arrests and convictions. Petitioner presented certificates of conviction which proved that respondent committed the crimes of assault, resisting arrest, intentional property damage and public intoxication. ALJ Kevin F. Casey found respondent could be disciplined for such off-duty conduct which fundamentally conflicted with the agency's mission. Respondent also failed to notify the agency of his arrest and conviction and was absent without leave. Termination of employment was recommended. Admin for Children's Services v. Hane, OATH Index No. 1460/14 (Aug. 27, 2014), adopted, Comm'r Dec. (Aug. 29, 2014).
A food service manager was found to have failed to report for scheduled medical examinations, that he was ordered to attend pursuant to section 2568 of the Education Law, on three occasions. Respondent had not been at work for more than two years. He did not appear at his hearing, nor avail himself of the opportunity to participate at the hearing via telephone. ALJ Faye Lewis recommended termination of employment. Dep't of Educ. v. Naguib, OATH Index No. 1402/14 (Aug. 14, 2014).
In a disability proceeding brought under section 72 of the Civil Service Law, respondent argued that petitioner failed to comply with the law because she was examined by doctors who were selected by a private entity and not by the Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS). ALJ Casey found that there was no improper delegation. DCAS hired the private entity to provide qualified medical specialists to perform fitness-for-duty exams. Although the private entity retained the doctors who examined respondent, DCAS maintained control over the process by specifying minimum criteria for each specialty and retaining, in its the sole discretion, the authority to bar a doctor from performing other evaluations. Respondent failed to show prejudice as the doctors who examined her were independent and well-qualified. Financial Information Services Agency v. N.P., OATH Index No. 866/14 (Aug. 22, 2014), adopted, Comm'r Dec. (Sept. 17, 2014).
Following an investigation of several complaints of workplace violence involving a machinist, he was referred to a psychiatrist for evaluation. The psychiatrist found that respondent presented a risk of danger in the workplace and he was placed on pre-hearing involuntary leave. At disability hearing, petitioner presented testimony from the investigator and both sides presented medical expert testimony. Respondent's expert initially opined that respondent demonstrates a paranoid personality disorder but that it did not interfere with his ability to work as a machinist. Respondent's expert later modified his diagnosis to find that although respondent has paranoid tendencies his responses were based on cultural differences and that he was fit to return to work. ALJ Alessandra F. Zorgniotti found the opinion of respondent's expert to be conclusory. He did not explain how respondent’s culture would cause him to be paranoid and aggressive with others. The judge recommended that respondent remain on involuntary leave. She also found that petitioner properly placed respondent on pre-hearing involuntary leave based upon documented instances of threats, hostility and anger to co-workers, and the evaluation of an independent psychiatrist. Dep't of Environmental Protection v. Anonymous, OATH Index No. 2443/14 (Aug. 20, 2014), adopted, Comm'r Dec. (Sept. 25, 2014).
A hospital special officer was charged with taking an unauthorized break, abandoning his post, being disrespectful to a supervisor, and causing a loud disruption in the work area. ALJ Kara J. Miller found all of the charges were proven except for causing a loud disruption. A 25-day suspension was the recommended penalty. Health & Hospitals Corp. (Coler Memorial Hospital) v. McDougal, OATH Index No. 1182/14 (Aug. 18, 2014), adopted, Exec. Dir. Dec. (Sept. 9, 2014).