When facing medical separation, it is important that you know your rights and what avenues you have to protest, being your livelihood and benefits are at stake. Under Section 72 of New York Civil Service Law, public employees can be placed on an involuntary medical leave if they have any physical or mental barrier that prevents them from fulfilling their agreed upon job duties for more than a years’ time. However, this does not mean that if you get served with a notice you have to lose your position. You have the right to protest the separation and the right to speak with a union or private attorney to discuss your best path forward. At Tully Rinckey PLLC, our attorneys have the required knowledge and experience to prevent your separation and help you build a case to reinstate you to your position.
As mentioned, under Section 72 of New York Civil Service Law, employers can place public employees on an involuntary medical leave if they have a certain disability—outlined in Section 71—preventing them from preforming their job duties. While this does leave the option of returning to your position after your recovery, it is rarely in your best interest to lose your job.
There are certain caveats to Section 72. Employers cannot issue a medical separation for any disabilities resulting from workplace injuries. Furthermore, Section 72 leave is not a disciplinary action, and should only be used in cases that revolve around employee disability and job performance. Disciplinary actions usually result from incompetence or wrongdoings, while a medical separation must be confirmed by a medical professional.
In any case, employees facing Section 72 leave are granted due process and must be given a prior notice—usually around 60 days—of their proposed medical separation. However, in order for your employer to place you on medical leave or pursue a medical separation, they would need to be able to provide proof—through a medical examination from a doctor of their choosing—of your disability and to what extent it will prevent you from working.
If you disagree with your employer’s decision to place you on medical leave or issue a medical separation against you, you may have the right to protest their decision. There are many different grounds you can protest or appeal your case, some of which include:
At the hearing, you will be able to protest your employers evidence, as well as present you own, whether it be through a witness testimony or outside medical documentation. Our Attorneys at Tully Rinckey have assisted many civil service clients facing medical separations. We know what administrative judges and hearing officers will be looking for when it comes to proving you are still fit to preform your job duties. With your job at stake, we fight aggressively on your behalf to protect your civil service rights and the job you worked so hard to obtain.