Will the termination of a 45 year veteran teacher, assigned to the Absent Teacher Reserve, be upheld where she was charged with forging a doctor’s note?

Yes. Cynthia Feaster, a 45 year veteran teacher most recently assigned to the absent teacher reserve, “sustained a slip and fall injury in 2014 which required her to undergo two surgeries that year and subjected her to ongoing pain and mobility issues.”

In 2018 Feaster was served with charges including making false entries in her time and attendance records including false or forged doctors’ notes. She was subsequently terminated, after being given a 3020-a hearing. She filed an Article 75 proceeding in New York County Supreme Court.

According to Justice Edmead, Feaster did not contest the finding of the forged notes but did contest her termination, which she argued was excessive.

The arbitrator had found that Feaster’s action were comparable to stealing and that her actions were so egregious that termination was indicated and no mitigating factor was present.

In affirming the termination, Justice Edmead found that the arbitrator had properly considered all of the factors required by law in making his decision.

CYNTHIA FEASTER, Plaintiff, v. THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK, THE BOARD OF EDUCATION OF THE CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK Defendant. Supreme Court, New York County. January 21, 2021.