Buffalo Sewer Authority Employee Suspended with Pay

A Buffalo Sewer Authority employee has been suspended with pay after being arrested for criminal possession of cocaine. He has been charged with criminal possession of narcotics, conspiracy-intent to perform a Class A felony, and criminal possession of a narcotic with intent to sell. Criminal defense attorney Paul Cambria spoke to WBEN about the case. For the full story, please visit the WBEN website.

Suspension with pay

WBEN asked Mr. Cambria how the situation of a government employee being suspended with pay differs from when a private sector employee is suspended without pay or fired. Mr. Cambria explained that it depends on whether or not the employee has an agreement and is a member of a union. If the employee is a union member, “there would be a specific procedure laid out for someone who’s merely accused as opposed to an actual criminal finding,” Mr. Cambria said.

Mr. Cambria went on to say that “it’s not unusual, particularly in civic employment situations, to suspend someone with pay” until there is an adversary hearing. He explained that, after those proceedings, it is decided whether the employee should be suspended without pay or fired.

At-will employment

WBEN then asked Mr. Cambria whether private sector employees are ever fired, found not guilty, and then unable to return to their previous jobs. Mr. Cambria responded that this can happen “because, in the regular private employment sector, there’s no union. It’s an employment-at-will and you can be discharged for any reason or for no reason.”

About Paul J. Cambria, Jr.

The chair of Lipsitz Green Scime Cambria’s Criminal Defense Trials and Appeals Practice Area, Mr. Cambria advises clients on criminal trials, criminal appeals, constitutional and First Amendment law, zoning and land use, antitrust, and professional licensing defense. He divides his time between the firm’s offices in Buffalo and Los Angeles.