City employees are routinely disciplined for slacking off — but one worker was brought up on insubordination charges and suspended for working too hard!
City Employee In Trouble For Working Too Hard
Via NY Post reports:
Viktor Berlyavsky, a Department of Environmental Protection project manager, says his seven-hour workday was hardly enough time to meet his supervisor’s deadlines and he never dreamed that working late would be considered “‘misconduct.”
But on six days between March and May of last year, Berlyavsky stayed beyond his shift — ignoring orders from his boss to leave the workplace at closing time.
Berlyavsky never put in for overtime or comp time. He says he needed to work longer to finish his assignments and to complete some union-related tasks.
Even so, officials brought him up on insubordination charges and sought an astonishing 74-day suspension as punishment.
An administrative-law judge pointed out that no one else at DEP had ever faced such bizarre charges, but he still ruled that Berlyavsky disobeyed direct orders. So he recommended suspension — for a single day.
“The facts found here show that respondent was insubordinate in twice disobeying an order to leave work after seven hours,” Judge John Spooner said in his decision. “At the same time, the facts show several additional mitigating circumstances, all of which must be weighed in determining a penalty.”
Spooner, in his decision, said there was no evidence that the leave-on-time directive “served any specific agency policy.” He called the misconduct “minor” in nature and said “only a minimal penalty is warranted.”
Still, Berlyavsky — who has worked for the agency 12 years but is a non-managerial worker, earning about $59,000 in 2012 — called the directive “humiliating and unfair.” Co-workers of his who have managerial titles have frequently worked longer than seven hours in order to complete their duties.