Justice Arthur Engoron

Simulinas, a civilian employee with the New York City Police Department (NYPD), sought a restraining order enjoining the NYPD from placing him on involuntary leave to address his alleged alcohol abuse without first complying with the notice and hearing provisions of Civil Service Law §72. The court previously signed a temporary restraining order prohibiting defendants from placing Simulinas on involuntary leave without compling with §72, yet, to date, they have not initiated such proceedings. Defendants claimed that unless Simulinas takes an involuntary medical leave of absence for alcohol abuse treatment in a facility, regardless of §72, they would not permit him to continue in his job. The court found §72 was applicable and Simulinas was entitled to its protections, noting an employee should not have to give up his freedom for an in-patient rehabilitation in order to keep his job. It noted as defendants failed to comply with §72 to determine if Simulinas actually suffered from alcohol addiction, they could not require Simulinas to attend an in-patient rehab to treat such addiction as a condition of continued employment. Thus, as Simulinas met the requisite elements for injunctive relief, his motion was granted.