The longtime library assistant who was terminated for alleged “abuse of sick leave” late last year has filed an appeal with the state, according to government records.
Linda Moore, who has been with the Paterson Free Public Library for 14 years, was terminated from her post as senior library assistant on September 23rd, 2015 for alleged “abuse of sick leave [that] extended for at least three years.”
The city library’s position is that Moore has been allegedly abusing sick leave for a three-year period. She served a one-day suspension in July 2014; a three-day suspension in October 2014; and a five-day suspension in January 2015, according to the city’s filings with the New Jersey Civil Service Commission.
“Yet, after those suspensions, you continued to take your sick days, exhausting all your time by June 2015,” read a final memo to Moore from library director Cindy Czesak after she was terminated by the library board.
The library issued Moore a final disciplinary notice on August 25th, 2015. She filed an appeal with the state on September 28th, 2015. Her request for a hearing was not within the 20-day time frame.
Moore’s request for a hearing was denied. She appealed the denial. She argued that though the final disciplinary notice was postmarked August 25th, 2015, she was not terminated until after the library board, which is the appointing authority, ratified the decision.
The library board at its September 23rd, 2015 meeting held a hearing in which she provided an explanation for her attendance, according to state records. However, it’s not clear what that explanation was.
Moore could not be reached for comments.
The library board voted to terminate Moore on September 23rd, 2015, according to case documents.
Seth Gollin, an attorney for AFSCME Council 52, the union which represents Moore, said on Wednesday she was successful in appealing the denial. The commission reconsidered its denial and ruled her request for a hearing was “timely” as calculated from the September 23rd, 2015 termination by the library board and her appeal filing on September 28th, 2015.
The New Jersey Office of Administrative Law will hold a hearing on her case. The October 19th, 2016 reconsideration decision does not specify a date for the hearing.