This is the question that was posed in the case of petitioner versus Manhattan and Bronx Surface Transit Operating Authority “MABSTOA”
The Appellate Division First Department decided that it was violative of public policy to allow the union to place an employee who was to be disciplined on union paid release time. The lower court Judge in the Supreme Court, New York County held that imposing discipline on an employee on release time violated the collective bargaining agreement(CBA). Since the authority violated the collective bargaining agreement the lower court judge held that an arbitrator’s award reinstating the employee should be confirmed.
The First Department held that the CBA award which reinstated a sexual offender ran counter to the strong public policy against sexual harassment and the workplace. Accordingly, the CBA cannot protect employees from discipline for sexual harassment was this would violate public policy. You can read about this New York City civil-service discipline case by clicking here.