N.Y. High Court rules on disciplinary definitions for public employees — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily
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N.Y. High Court rules on disciplinary definitions for public employees

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in Employment Law,Human Resources

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)

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