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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+.

April 12, 2011

Ordering a correction officer to submit to a drug test, without more, does not violate the officer’s rights under the Constitution or §75 of the Civil Service Law

Ordering a correction officer to submit to a drug test, without more, does not violate the officer’s rights under the Constitution or §75 of the Civil Service Law
Department of Corrections v Johnson, OATH Index #1303/11

A New York City correction officer who tested positive for illegal drugs argued that the results were obtained in violation of her union and privacy rights. In essence, the officer challenged the legality of a second drug test administered to her after she tested positive in an earlier test on the grounds that the test violated the office’s right to union representation under §75 of the Civil Service Law and her right to be free from unreasonable searches under the Fourth Amendment.

OATH Administrative Law Judge John Spooner rejected the correction officer’s theory and found that the tests had been properly conducted.

Significantly, Judge Spooner found that the procedure did not involve questioning of the officer by a supervisor or anyone else. Rather Johnson was ordered by a captain to report to the toxicology unit and there was directed to provide a hair sample by a civilian staff member. Because the test did not involve questioning, no written notice of a right to union representation was required under Civil Service Law §75(2).

The ALJ recommended that Johnson’s employment be terminated.

The decision is posted on the Internet at:

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. Click on for more information.

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