Worker's Compensation Fraud - Transit Electro-Mechanical Maintainer

MTA/OIG #2009-01

OIG received an anonymous complaint regarding a NYC Transit Electro-Mechanical Maintainer injured his right hand while leaving a Fan Plant Motor Control Room. The employee had been found fit to return to work with restrictions, including no lifting, pushing or pulling objects over 10 pounds, and no driving or operating mechanical equipment. Because his department had no work available within the scope of those restrictions, the employee remained at home.

Thereafter, OIG investigators observed the employee violating his restrictions by lifting and carrying large and heavy objects to and from a pickup truck and by working at a second job. Based on its findings, OIG referred the matter to NYC Transit with recommendations that it initiate disciplinary action against the employee and separately consider referring the matter to the Workers’ Compensation Board for further action.

NYC Transit charged the employee with violating various rules, including those requiring employees to make accurate statements and obtain approval for outside employment, suspended him and sought his dismissal. An arbitrator ruled that NYC Transit did not have cause to discharge the employee, but did have cause to impose a time-served suspension without pay.