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What is the Difference Between Medical Separation and Disciplinary Termination?

 Posted on June 05, 2024 in Civil Service Employment and Job Defense

Bronx Disciplinary Charges LawyerIn the realm of civil service employment in New York, two distinct pathways can lead to the end of an employee’s tenure: medical separation and disciplinary termination. Both processes carry significant implications for the affected employee, but they arise from entirely different circumstances and follow different procedural routes. If you are a tenured civil service employee seeking to navigate either the medical separation or disciplinary termination process, a qualified New York attorney can assist you. 

Medical Separation Means a Health Driven Departure

Medical separation occurs when an employee is unable to perform the duties of his or her position due to a medical condition. This condition could be physical or psychological and often requires substantial medical documentation to back up the claim. The process typically begins when the employer provides medical evidence that the employee cannot continue to perform his or her job duties. A physician’s certification and potentially an independent medical examination may be necessary. Moreover, employees can appeal a medical separation decision if he or she believes the decision was not justified. This involves providing additional medical evidence or demonstrating reasonable accommodation was not adequately considered. 

Disciplinary Termination Means a Performance-Driven Departure

On the other hand, disciplinary termination arises from allegations of misconduct, incompetence, or violation of workplace rules. This type of termination is adversarial in nature and is initiated by the employer based on the employee’s behavior or performance. Grounds for disciplinary probation may include insubordination, poor performance, violations of agency policies, or misconduct. The process may consist of a formal investigation, written charges, and a hearing where the employee can present a defense. The employee also has the right to legal representation and to call witnesses. 

In cases involving disciplinary termination, appeals are a crucial part of the proceedings. Employees can appeal through internal review processes or by filing a claim under New York Civil Practice Law and Rules, Article 78, which allows for judicial review of administrative decisions.

Important Differences Between Medical Separation and Disciplinary Action

The primary difference lies in their underlying causes – health incapacity versus employee conduct. Medical separation may be more often viewed sympathetically, given it arises from health issues beyond an employee’s control. Conversely, disciplinary termination carries a stigma and implies fault on the part of the employee. By understanding these differences, employees can better navigate his or her options while also safeguarding his or her rights. Whether dealing with health challenges or facing disciplinary charges, knowing the right steps to take can make all the difference in achieving a fair outcome. 

Contact Our Manhattan, NY Medical Separation Employment Lawyer

With your job potentially hanging in the balance, ensure you are prepared to fully defend yourself by hiring the Bronx, NY medical separation employment attorney with The Law Firm of Gregory J. Watford, Esq., PLLC. Call 646-580-6675 for a private consultation. 

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