Wednesday, February 20, 2013

EMPLOYEES RIGHT TO SPEAK - NEW YORK UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE

Also noteworthy is Mailed and Filed: NOVEMBER 04, 2011 IN THE MATTER OF: Appeal Board No. 555846. The facts were as follows:

"FINDINGS OF FACT: The claimant worked as an environmental services supervisor at a hospital for about two and a half years. On July 11, 2008, she signed the employer's"Annual Statement of Compliance," which stated under the heading "Confidentiality Agreement" that the signatory understood that she could not repeat information that she may hear at work or in meetings, and that all records of the employer are private and confidential whether patient or business related.

The claimant believed that one of her subordinates had performance problems. She had also received some complaints concerning his personal hygiene. She provided him with a copy of a performance audit regarding some of these deficiencies, but she was not confident that he would take the necessary steps to improve his performance. The claimant was too embarrassed to confront this employee concerning his personal hygiene. This employee's wife also worked for the employer, as a unit secretary. The claimant felt she had a rapport with her subordinate's wife. The claimant approached her at work and suggested that she, the wife, prepare some checklists for her husband, for example on how to properly clean a patient room, to help him improve his performance. She also at some point told the employee's wife about the complaints regarding his hygiene. As a result, the employee and his wife complained to management about the claimant. On April 29, 2010, the employer discharged the claimant, because it concluded she had breached its confidentiality policy and had engaged in "inappropriate communications." The claimant had at some point been counseled for her poor performance as a supervisor regarding poor or inappropriate communications. The employer later sent the claimant a discharge letter that did not provide a specific reasonfor discharge."

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