by Diane M. Pietraszewski, Esq., Bond, Schoeneck & King, Buffalo
Although public employers may be aware of their obligation to provide certain types of employees with an opportunity for a hearing before imposing discipline (such as a written reprimand), the line between a nondisciplinary counseling memorandum and a disciplinary reprimand is not always clear.
The New York State Court of Appeals’ recent decision in Matter of Michael D’Angelo v. Nicholas Scoppetta serves as an important reminder that the term “reprimand” may be interpreted more broadly than public employers anticipate.
Inflammatory words in FDNY
In the D’Angelo case, the Fire Department of New York City (FDNY) sent a letter informing a firefighter that he had violated the department’s Code of Conduct and Equal Employment Opportunity Policy. The Court of Appeals held that the letter constituted a “reprimand” that could not be placed in his file unless h...(register to read more)