Recent Decisions

The following is a summary of some recent OATH decisions decided in April 2016.  To ascertain whether the OATH judges' recommendations were adopted by the referring agency, please call OATH's calendar unit at 1-844-628-4692.

The documents below are in PDF format. Download the Adobe Reader now.


Licensing

In a default proceeding, petitioner proved that a taxi driver, on two trips, overcharged and threatened passengers and drove recklessly. In both instances, the taxi driver told the passengers that he was charging them a 45 dollar flat rate fare for a ride from LaGuardia Airport to Manhattan. This fare was in excess of the metered fare and in violation of the Commission rules prohibiting overcharges. Each time, the driver threatened the passenger when questioned about the flat rate. Records also showed that that the driver had been speeding during the trips. ALJ John B. Spooner recommended license revocation and a fine of $6,000.    Taxi & Limousine Comm’n v. Yazici, OATH Index No. 1457/16 (Apr. 12, 2016), adopted, Comm’r Dec. (May 6, 2016).


Personnel

Computer Associate found unfit to perform his job after petitioner proved that he had difficulty keeping up with technological changes and was confrontational when interacting with co-workers and supervisors. ALJ Alessandra F. Zorgniotti found that respondent’s behavior continued to be disruptive even after supervisors had made efforts to simplify his job. Involuntary leave of absence recommended.    Dep’t of Parks & Recreation v. Anonymous, OATH Index No. 858/16 (Apr. 12, 2016), adopted, Comm’r Dec. (Apr. 29, 2016).

ALJ Kevin F. Casey found that an elevator mechanic engaged in misconduct when he accused a co-worker of stealing a utility knife, threw the utility knife at his co-worker, and used discourteous and inconsiderate language. A 30-day suspension was recommended with credit for time served.    Dep’t of Citywide Admin. Services v. O’Brien, OATH Index No. 1068/16 (Apr. 7, 2016).

Following a default hearing, ALJ Spooner found that petitioner proved that a clerical associate was repeatedly AWOL, excessively late and absent, and was insubordinate by refusing to sign forms regarding his unauthorized absences. Certified timekeeping records proved that respondent had been late 68 times and absent 40 percent of the work days within a year and a half period. Termination of employment recommended.    Human Resources Admin. v. Traylor, OATH Index No. 1046/16 (Apr. 22, 2016).


Contracts

Contractor sought an additional $14,788.58 from respondent, the Department of Parks and Recreation, for labor costs it allegedly incurred during the installation of ADA-compliant bathrooms at parade grounds in Prospect Park. Respondent argued that it had already approved payment under contract unit price items, which included both the costs for extra materials and labor for installation. The Contract Dispute Resolution Board, chaired by ALJ Ingrid M. Addison, found that a plain reading of the contract supported respondent’s interpretation and ruled that the contractor was not entitled to additional payment for labor. The Board therefore denied the Contractor’s claim.    Building Maintenance Corp. v. Dep’t of Parks & Recreation, OATH Index No. 743/16, mem dec. (Apr. 21, 2016).


Real Property

ALJ Kara J. Miller recommended that a Loft Law coverage application be denied because the applicant failed to show that three units in the building were residentially occupied during the applicable window period. The applicant proved he residentially occupied his unit, but could not show that the two other units were qualified for coverage. Occasional overnight stays by a commercial tenant in a unit used as a furniture showroom was insufficient to prove that the unit was residential. A third unit was not qualified because it did not have a window opening onto a street or lawful court or yard, as required by the Loft Law. Matter of Gubelmann, OATH Index No. 213/13 (Apr. 19, 2016).