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‘Yet Another Example Of What Unions Do For Their Members:’ Legal Victory ‘Delivers Justice For Innocent’ Union-Represented Worker

Says Miranda Cole: “The More (Child Care) Providers I Can Help Bring Into CSEA By Telling My Story, The ‘Stronger We Are As A Union And Our Union Makes Us Better Providers And Better’ For The Children.”

Published Wednesday, July 31, 2019
by Jill Asencio/CSEA News
‘Yet Another Example Of What Unions Do For Their Members:’ Legal Victory ‘Delivers Justice For Innocent’ Union-Represented Worker

(TROY, NEW YORK) - Miranda Cole never thought the day would come when she was falsely accused of maltreatment of a child in her care - but it didNot knowing where to turn in this devastating moment, she called a friend who reminded her of her Union and the many resources available to Members.

“I ‘should have sent my friend flowers,’” Cole said. “If she ‘hadn’t recommended calling our Union then, I would have had no clue what to do.’  ‘It was so stressful.’  I’ felt like I was backed in a corner with nowhere to turn.’  ‘It was like trying to find your way in the dark.’  That first day that I called our Union, my representative, (Civil Service Employees Association (CSEA) Early Learning and Care Representative) Ed Gresco ‘was at my door within twenty minutes.”

Cole built an excellent reputation as a highly skilled and nurturing provider working as an informal or legally exempt child care provider for 11 years.  When Cole decided to expand her business and become a Licensed Group Family Child Care Provider, she worked hard to learn New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OFCS) Regulations - inside and out.

She took all of the OCFS-required trainings and modified her program space, following all the rules to the letter.

Cole was also very organized and networked with other providers.

Doing everything the right way, Cole opened her expanded program in Troy in May 2017.

On June 15th, 2017, Rensselaer County Child Protective Services (CPS) showed up at her door, almost six weeks to the day of opening her new program.

CPS was there to investigate the allegation that a parent had accused Cole of causing a second-degree sunburn on their six-month-old baby.

Immediately, Cole thought, this doesn’t make sense.

Civil Service Employees Association (CSEA) Associate Counsel Jeremy Ginsburg represented Cole in her quest to prove her innocence.

As he began mounting her defense, Ginsburg began to see major cracks in the parent’s story.

Photo evidence demonstrated that the child had not been in the sun and left Cole’s daycare in the early afternoon on the day in question without any burns.

The child’s mother stayed at Cole’s daycare for over a half-hour at pick-up time, chatting lightheartedly.

The mother made a comment that the weather was so nice, she intended to sit out with the child the rest of the day on her back porch.

She then took photos of her child (still at Cole’s daycare) and posted them to Facebook before leaving.

The photos showed no sunburn and her tone was far from worried.

There was simply no proof that Cole caused the burns.

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