State Was Right To Fire Abusive Employee, Judge Says
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
November 5, 2003
WOODBINE, NEW JERSEY--A state court has ruled that the state was justified when it fired a trainee for verbally abusing a Woodbine Developmental Center resident two years ago.
Administrative Law Judge W. Todd Miller said in his October 1 decision that the state could fire any trainee it considered unsuited for a job, the Press of Atlantic City reported Tuesday.
James Broughton had been assigned to work with a 16-year-old resident identified as "J.B." on October 13, 2001. According to court records, J.B., who had autism, began throwing things at and spitting on Boughton.
Workers who arrived to assist said they heard Boughton say, "I'll hurt that boy."
After Boughton was fired, he sued to get back his job as a human services assistant at the institution.
Other institution employees testified on Boughton's behalf, recounting other situations where residents became aggressive toward them.
"Woodbine based its decision on the fact that (Broughton) may not be fit for the job because of his temper," Judge Miller said. "Right or wrong, the decision was not formed with malice or bias."
Miller said that Boughton has the right to re-apply for the job.