In 2005, a woman took a job working for the New York City Human Resources Administration as an Associate Staff Analyst Hearing Officer in the Employee Disciplinary Unit. As an officer of this department, she had access to confidential information relative to other employees in the department as well as in other departments in New York City Government. She was prohibited by contract and by law from accessing anyone else’s confidential information without express authorization from a supervisor.
A New York Drug Crime Lawyer said the woman was having problems within her department. She felt that she was being discriminated against by supervisors and co-workers based on her race and gender. She began inquiring outside of the department about what she should do to file a lawsuit for discrimination. She obtained advise from a friend that she should gather as much evidence as she could about the department and some of the situations that existed within that department. One of the issues that was bothering her was a romantic relationship that she felt existed between two co-workers that was inappropriate in the workplace.
She went into the Human Resources computer base and accessed their personal information so that she could provide the information to her attorney for use in her lawsuit. She admitted that she had done this in a deposition pursuant to the case. When the department discovered that she had obtained this information illegally, they fired her without notice. A New York Drug Possession Lawyer said she appealed her termination on the grounds that she did not violate the law since she did not disseminate the information that she had obtained and she did not use the information to commit a crime.
The department felt that in order for the woman to be guilty of the offense, she did not necessarily have to disseminate the information or commit a crime, but the mere appearance of impropriety should be enough to create cause for termination. The woman stated that she was in a difficult situation and she did not know what to do in order to protect herself. She stated that she is not guilty of a crime and that she should not have been terminated. She brought forth documents that proved that she had been a reliable and an excellent employee with no other violations of any sort. A Nassau County Drug Possession Lawyer said she contends that many other employees have been retained after committing much more serious offenses and that she was only terminated because she had filed a discrimination lawsuit. The woman stated that she was wrongfully terminated because she was denied due process to have her offense heard.
The courts evaluated the woman’s contentions as well as those of the department. They evaluated the legal statutes that were being applied by both sides to the offenses. The determination of how the law applied was straightforward. The statute that is relative to this case clearly states that the information had to be obtained for the purpose of committing a crime or for illegal dissemination. A Queens Drug Possession Lawyer said in the present case, it was clear that the woman did not use the information that she obtained on her co-workers for the purpose of committing a crime. She also did not disseminate the information to anyone other than her attorney. The court held that she was not guilty of any criminal wrong doing.
The department stated that they could not reinstate the woman because she had violated a public trust by accessing the information. The court did not agree. The woman requested a reinstatement of her job at an equal rate to what she was employed at when she was terminated. She further requested all back pay and benefits that she would have received if she had not been wrongfully terminated. The court granted her requests.
At Stephen Bilkis & Associates with its employment law Lawyers there are convenient offices throughout New York State and Metropolitan area. Our wrongful termination Attorneys can provide you with advice to guide you through difficult situations. Hiring a civil court attorney can prevent you from losing precious time with your family.