Friday, April 18, 2014
Terminated noncompetitive class employee having less than five years of service entitled to back pay and benefits under the terms of a collective bargaining agreement
Thursday, April 17, 2014
Statute providing for a “presumption” that a disabling condition was incurred in the performance of duty to be read narrowly
General Municipal Law§§ 207-a and 207-c - a 1098 page e-book focusing on administering General Municipal Law Sections 207-a/207-c and providing benefits thereunder and other disability retirement issues is available from the Public Employment Law Press. Click on http://section207.blogspot.com/ for additional information about this electronic reference manual.
Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Tuesday, April 15, 2014
Monday, April 14, 2014
Employee’s purported unresponsive answers to interrogatories used as a defense in disciplinary action
Sunday, April 13, 2014
Under New York Judiciary Law Section 470, which mandates that a nonresident attorney maintain an "office for the transaction of law business" within the state of New York, what are the minimum requirements necessary to satisfy that mandate?
Saturday, April 12, 2014
Widomski v. Orange County Community College*
Source: Justica Daily Summaries- Education
Plaintiff filed suit against OCCC, alleging claims of discrimination on the basis of a "perceived disability" and retaliation in violation of Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), 42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq.
The district court concluded that plaintiff, who was enrolled in OCCC's medical Laboratory Technology program, failed to establish that OCCC perceived his shaking hands to substantially limit a major life activity, and granted the motion for summary judgment in favor of OCCC as to the ADA discrimination claim.
The district court also granted summary judgment in favor of OCCC on the retaliation claim because plaintiff had not presented any evidence that OCCC's good faith belief that plaintiff had falsified documents was a legitimate, non-discriminatory reason for the disciplinary referral.
The court concluded that plaintiff failed to demonstrate that OCCC perceived him as having an impairment that substantially limited a major life activity; plaintiff failed to demonstrate that OCCC's explanation for its decision to bring disciplinary proceedings against him was pretext for retaliation; and plaintiff's remaining arguments were without merit.
Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment of the district court.
Friday, April 11, 2014
OATH Index No. 266/14
The employee, a maintainer at the Verrazano Bridge, duties include driving tow trucks and assisting disabled vehicles. He was charged with several acts of dangerous and insubordinate behavior, and making false statements.
OATH Administrative Law Judge Alessandra F. Zorgniotti credited a driver’s testimony that the employee tailgated her car, cursed her over a loudspeaker, and threw a water bottle into her vehicle, while he was en route to assist a disabled car.
Based on video footage, ALJ Zorgniotti also found that the employee intentionally caused a wrecker to make contact with a co-worker in order to intimidate him. Even though employee had no prior disciplinary record,
Judge Zorgniotti found that employee’s “reckless and unpredictable behavior renders him unreliable”, and recommended termination of employment.
The decision is posted on the Internet at:
Thursday, April 10, 2014
No private right of action flows from a mere statement of general policy applicable to all Civil Service employees
Matter of Subway Surface Supervisors Assn. v New York City Tr. Auth., 2014 NY Slip Op 02380, Court of Appeals
The Subway Surface Supervisors Association, representing employees working under the title Station Supervisor Level One (SS-I) commenced a special proceeding against the New York City Transit Authority (TA) alleging that its members were being paid a lower base salary than their claimed counterparts, Station Supervisor Level Two (SS-II), for the same type of work.
The sole allegation in the petition was that the TA violated Civil Service Law §61(2), prohibiting out-of-title work.
The TA moved to dismiss the petition on, among other grounds, failure to state a cause of action. In response, the Union abandoned its §61(2) claim and opposed the TA's motion on new, unpleaded theories, that the TA's conduct violated Civil Service Law §115 and the Equal Protection Clauses of the New York and United States Constitutions.
Supreme Court deemed the §61(2) claim abandoned and, despite the fact that the Union failed to move for leave to replead or to amend its petition to allege the new claims, concluded that the petition stated a "potential" §115 violation, but that "a factual dispute remained" concerning whether SS-Is and SS-IIs performed the same duties. It referred the disputed issue to a special referee for a hearing, but before that hearing could be held Supreme Court granted the TA leave to appeal to the Appellate Division.
A divided Appellate Division affirmed. The majority found that the petition alleged viable Civil Service Law §115 and equal protection claims. The dissenting Justices would have dismissed the petition for failure to state a cause of action because, in their view, §115 enunciated only a state policy and did not confer upon state courts jurisdiction to enforce that policy. The dissenters would have found the Union's Equal Protection Clause arguments to be without merit.
TA then obtained leave to appeal its ruling on the certified question whether the order of Supreme Court as affirmed by the Appellate Division was properly made.
The Court of Appeals held that the order of the Appellate Division should be reversed and “the motion to dismiss the petition granted, and the certified question answered in the negative.”
The court explained that courts of this State have routinely interpreted §115 and its predecessor, the nearly identically-worded former Civil Service Law §37* "a mere statement of general policy applicable to all Civil Service employees" and that is is clear that §115 is a preamble to Civil Service Law Article VIII, and no private right of action flows from it. In contrast, said the court, Article 14 of the Civil Service Law (the Taylor Law) provides the mechanism for represented employees to challenge alleged wage disparities between classifications.
As to the Union’s Equal Protection argument, the Court of Appeals said that the Union's equal protection claims must be dismissed because the Union freely negotiated and executed the collective bargaining agreement that contained lower wage rates for SS-Is and, to the extent an equal protection claim can be raised, it must be asserted by the employees subjected to the alleged discriminatory conduct.
N.B. Justice Rivera issued a concurring opinion commenting stating “I agree that petitioner Subway Surface Supervisors Association's (SSSA) claims under the Federal and State Equal Protection Clauses should be dismissed. However, I disagree with the reasons stated for dismissal of the Civil Service Law §115 claim, and would instead dismiss that claim because SSSA failed to plead its entitlement to relief based on proper §115 equal pay for equal work allegations [and I am writing separately] to present my analysis that §115 sets forth a clear legislative mandate to ensure pay equality for state employees, guaranteed in part by a cognizable private cause of action that allows parties to challenge pay discrimination.”
* See Civil Service Law of 1909, enacted as Chapter 15 of the Laws of 1909.
The decision is posted on the Internet at:
The Commissioner of Education to determine if two positions are sufficiently similar within the meaning of Education Law §2510 in the first instance
Matter of Alden Cent. Sch. Dist. (Alden Cent. Schools Administrators' Assn.), 2014 NY Slip Op 02185, Appellate Division, Fourth Department
The school district filed an Article 75 petition seeking to stay arbitration of a grievance challenging the level of the compensation paid to an individual represented by the union who had been laid off from her position of principal of an elementary school and thereafter appointed from the preferred list to serve as an assistant principal at a middle school at a lower salary. The union filed a cross-petition seeking to compel arbitration of the grievance, contending that the educator’s new position was “sufficiently ‘similar’ within the meaning of the Education Law §2510(3)(a) such that she is entitled to the same level of pay.”
Supreme Court denied the school district’s petition for a stay of arbitration. The Appellate Division, however, reversed the lower court’s ruling and granted the district’s petition to stay the arbitration of the grievance.
Noting that it is well settled that, in deciding an application to stay or compel arbitration under CPLR §7503 the court is concerned only with the threshold determination of arbitrability, and not with the merits of the underlying claim, the Appellate Division explained that in making the threshold determination of arbitrability, the court applies a two-part test.
A court first determines whether "there is any statutory, constitutional or public policy prohibition against arbitration of the grievance. If no prohibition exists, [the court then determines] whether the parties in fact agreed to arbitrate the particular dispute by examining their collective bargaining agreement."
In this instance the Appellate Division said that it agreed with the school district that the Commissioner of Education has primary jurisdiction over the parties' dispute, and that arbitration is therefore prohibited by public policy.
The court said that the Commissioner of Education has the specialized knowledge and expertise to resolve the factual issue of whether the former position and the new position are similar within the meaning of Education Law §2510(3)(a). Accordingly, concluded the Appellate Division “the Commissioner of Education should ‘resolve, in the first instance’ the issue of fact whether two positions are sufficiently similar under Education Law §2510.”
The decision is posted on the Internet at:
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