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Appellate Term of the Supreme Court of New York, Second DepartmentFeb 5, 2004
2004 N.Y. Slip Op. 50148 (N.Y. Misc. 2004)

2003-381 NC.

Decided February 5, 2004.

Appeal by defendant from a small claims judgment of the District Court, Nassau County (H. Miller, J.), entered October 15, 2002, in favor of plaintiff in the principal sum of $1,848.

Judgment unanimously affirmed without costs.


In this small claims action to recover for breach of an employment contract, plaintiff alleged that defendant offered her a summer position at a fixed salary and informed her that she did not have to attend the training sessions after she provided it with certification from an outside establishment indicating she had previously completed a similar training session. However, she informed defendant that she intended to go to the training sessions. After attending the first training session, which she claimed to have left only a few minutes early, defendant terminated her. Defendant's representatives testified that plaintiff was informed that she must attend each training session for the entire time allotted and that it was defendant's policy to provide prospective employees with a copy of the personnel policy handbook which clearly stated same. This conflicting testimony presented an issue of credibility which the lower court decided in favor of plaintiff. Upon a review of the record, we find that the lower court's determination was based on a fair interpretation of the evidence ( see Jones v. Hart, 233 AD2d 297; DiSalvo v. Ordway, 208 AD2d 798).

We note that contrary to defendant's arguments, plaintiff was not an at-will employee who could be terminated at any time for any reason or no reason at all since she was hired for a specified or definite period of time ( cf. Horn v. New York Times, 100 NY2d 85; Murphy v. American Home Prods. Corp., 58 NY2d 293).