PURSUANT TO MILITARY LAW, PETITIONER SHOULD HAVE BEEN DEEMED TO HAVE SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETED HER NYC POLICE-OFFICER PROBATIONARY PERIOD BY VIRTUE OF HER DEPLOYMENT ON MILITARY DUTY DURING THE PROBATIONARY PERIOD (FIRST DEPT).

The First Department, reversing Supreme Court, determined that Military Law controlled and petitioner, a probationary NYC police officer, must be deemed to have satisfactorily completed her probation by virtue of her military deployment while on probationary status:

Under New York City personnel rules, “[s]ubject to the provisions of the [M]ilitary [L]aw,” the computation of a probationary period is based on time the employee is “on the job in a pay status” (55 RCNY 5.2.2[b]). The personnel rules further provide that, notwithstanding rule 5.2.2, the probationary period will be extended while a probationer “does not perform the duties of the position” (55 RCNY 5.2.8[b]) for instance, while on limited duty status … . These rules are expressly subject to Military Law § 243(9), which provides, in pertinent part, that if a probationary employee is deployed on military duty before the expiration of his or her probationary period, “the time [she] is absent on military duty shall be credited as satisfactory service during such probationary period.”

Military Law § 243(9) is unambiguous in providing that respondents are required to credit the period that probationary officers spend in military service as “satisfactory service” towards completion of the probationary period. The statute does not distinguish between probationers on restricted or modified duty and those on full duty status at the time of deployment, or give respondents discretion to distinguish between types of probationers … . Matter of Aroca v Bratton, 2019 NY Slip Op 03277, First Dept 4-30-19

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