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Thursday, November 28, 2013

Whitestone Teacher Cannot Win a Whistleblower Lawsuit Until All Remedies are Exhausted

Can a teacher, covered by a collective bargaining agreement maintain an action pursuant to Civil Service law 75-b, the Whistleblower’s Law?
No. Michele Ehrlich, an ESL teacher at PS 79 in Whitestone until her probationary termination
in July 2011, complained to several DOE departments and some private advocacy groups about
a violation of an IEP of one of her students. After her termination she claimed she was covered
by the Whistleblower’s Law Section 75-b. (A federal claim concerning her free speech rights
was dismissed in a federal action that had been removed to that court by the DOE).

Acting Justice Ellen M. Coin ruled that Ehrlich could not maintain her action under the Whistleblower’s law since she was covered by the UFT contract and was required to exhaust
her remedies available under the grievance procedure before she could commence an action.

Ehrlich v. DOE (November 7, 2013, Decided)

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