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State of New York vs. COVID-19 - Governor Andrew M. Cuomo periodically updates New Yorkers on the state's progress during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The latest reports of the number of new cases, the percentage of tests that were positive and many other relevant data points concerning COVID-19 are available at

N.B. §22 of the New York State's General Construction Law, in pertinent part, provides that “Whenever words of the masculine or feminine gender appear in any law, rule or regulation, unless the sense of the sentence indicates otherwise, they shall be deemed to refer to both male or female persons.” NYPPL applies this protocol to individuals referred to in a decision self-identifying as LGBTQA+.

January 3, 1991

Unlawful discrimination and genetic disorders

Unlawful discrimination and genetic disorders

 Chapter 990 of the Law of 1990, makes it unlawful for public or private employers to unlawfully discriminate against persons having a "unique genetic disorder." Under the Act, only Sickle Cell trait, Tay-Sachs disease and Cooley's anemia are defined as "unique genetic disorders."

 The Act, which amends the Civil Rights Law, provides as follows:

 §48-a Unless it can be clearly shown that a person's unique genetic disorder would prevent such a person from performing the particular job, no person who is otherwise qualified shall be denied equal opportunities to obtain and/or maintain employment and/or to advance in position in his [sic] job solely because said person has a unique genetic disorder regardless of whether the employer or prospective employer is the state or any political subdivision thereof or any other category of employer."

 The Act has criminal implications as an entity transgressing its provisions "shall be guilty of a violation."

January 2, 1991


Johnson v Martin, 6 IER 1329

Is the inclusion of a report of the results of a drug test  in an employee's personnel file defamatory? Johnson, a probationary police officer, alleged that although the results  of his positive drug test was not made public, there was a likelihood that such information would be divulged. This, he  argued, violated his "constitutional interest in a good reptation."

Noting that the information in the file had only been shared  within the police department's proper chain of command, the  court said that in order to constitute defamation, an allegedly defamatory statement must actually be made public.

Johnson's claim that the information "will probably" reach  the public was judged insufficient for the purposes of this  law suit.

Public Personnel Law E-books

The Discipline Book - A concise guide to disciplinary actions involving public employees in New York State set out in a 700 page e-book. For more information click on

A Reasonable Disciplinary Penalty Under the Circumstances - A 442-page e-book focusing on determining an appropriate disciplinary penalty to be imposed on an employee in the public service in instances where the employee has been found guilty of misconduct or incompetence. Now available in two formats - as a large, paperback print edition and as an e-book. For more information click on

The Layoff, Preferred List and Reinstatement Manual - A 645 page e-book reviewing the relevant laws, rules and regulations, and selected court and administrative decisions. For more information click on

Disability Leave for fire, police and other public sector personnel - A 1098 page e-book focusing on disability benefits available to public officers and employees employed by New York State and its political subdivisions. For more information click on