Court Dismisses Former Care Officer’s Appeal

June 8, 2021 | 0 Comments

The Supreme Court has dismissed an application from Cheyra Bell — who workED as a Residential Care Officer at the Department of Child & Family Services – to quash the decision to fire her for “gross misconduct on the ground that she was unfit for duty as a result of being under the influence of alcohol or drugs.”

In explaining the background, the ruling said, “The Applicant seeks Orders of Certiorari quashing [i] the decision of the DCFS dated 16 November 2018 to refer the Applicant to the HOPS for gross misconduct; [ii] the decision of the HOPS dated the 23 February 2019 to summarily dismiss the Applicant for gross misconduct; and [iii] the decision of the Public Service Commission [“PSC”] to refuse the Applicant’s appeal.

“The applicant seeks a declaration that her employment has not terminated and continues until such time as she resigns or comes to an end by  Head of Public Service [HOPS] was formerly known as Head of Civil Service [HOCS]. 3 some lawful means. The Applicant seeks payment of salary and benefits from 1 February 2019 to the date of judgment.

“These judicial review proceedings relate to the decision of Derrick S. Binns, JP, Ph.D. [Dr. Binns], Head of the Public Service [“HOPS”] 1 dated 23 February 2019 whereby Dr. Binns held that Ms. Cheyra Bell [“Ms. Bell” or “the Applicant”], a Residential Care Officer [“RCO”] at the Department of Child & Family Services [“DCFS”] was guilty of gross misconduct on the ground that she was unfit for duty as a result of being under the influence of alcohol or drugs and that the appropriate penalty in all the circumstances was dismissal with immediate effect.

“The Applicant seeks Orders of Certiorari quashing [i] the decision of the DCFS dated 16 November 2018 to refer the Applicant to the HOPS for gross misconduct; [ii] the decision of the HOPS dated the 23 February 2019 to summarily dismiss the Applicant for gross misconduct; and [iii] the decision of the Public Service Commission [“PSC”] to refuse the Applicant’s appeal.

“The applicant seeks a declaration that her employment has not terminated and continues until such time as she resigns or comes to an end by some lawful means. The Applicant seeks payment of salary and benefits from 1 February 2019 to the date of judgment.”

The court dismissed the application.

The full Court Judgment follows below [PDF here]:

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