Kowaleski v. DOCS

The Court of Appeals recently overturned an arbitrator’s award:

The Court reported that:

In 2002 Barbara Kowaleski a CO assigned to Hale Creek observed another CO use excessive force against an inmate and refused her sergeants request to sign a report that the inmate had assaulted the officer.  Thereafter, Kowaleski was the victim of continual harassment.

When Kowaleski received charges the case was referred to an arbitrator.  The arbitrator refused to consider her "Whistleblower" defense.  NY Civil Service Law 75-b [3] [a] states: "the merits of such defense shall be considered and determined as part of the arbitration awardd or hearing officer decision." The Court of Appeals cited Matter of Obot v DOCS (where employee did not raise Whistleblower defense)

Read more about this NY whistleblower case.