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Monday, April 30, 2012

Legislation proposed to provide for a new procedure for determining suspensions and demotions of members of certain police agencies upon abolition or reduction of positions

Legislation proposed to provide for a new procedure for determining suspensions and demotions of members of certain police agencies upon abolition or reduction of positions


In the Assembly April 20, 2012 [A9887-2011]; In the Senate April 27, 2012  S7075-2011

This bill seeks to amend §80 of the New York State Civil Service Law as it applies to members of any police agency in the State other than those police agencies already subject to the provisions of subdivisions 1-a through 1-d of §80.

The proposed amendment, if signed into law would use seniority for the purposed of demotions and,or,  reductions in force on the basis of time in grade or title in contrast seniority based on service in the classified service.

The bills sponsor state that “This amendment would address a longstanding problem in the police community, as witnessed by the fact that 4 police agencies (the City of Buffalo Police and Fire Departments, employees of secure detention facilities in the State of New York, sworn employees of the Monroe County Sheriff's Department, and the Nassau County Police Department) have already obtained passage of existing subdivisions 1-a through 1-d changing the measure [seniority for the purposes of layoff] from time in the classified service to time in grade or title.”

The sponsors offer the following justification for this amendment to the Civil Service Law:

“Under the current law, suspensions or demotions in the Civil Service upon the abolition or reduction of positions must be made based upon seniority, with demotions or reductions in force to be made in "inverse order of original appointment on a permanent basis in the classified service" (CSL, §80.1). The spirit of the law is to safeguard the employment of those employees with the most time in the system, with the general principle being "last in - first out". In the uniformed services, this law can have a reverse effect essentially retaining employees with shorter tenures in the civil service rank while demoting those with longer tenures in rank. For example, a police officer with ten years in rank as a Sergeant would have to be demoted before a police officer with 1 year in rank as a Sergeant if the latter had more time in the classified service.* As mentioned above, several uniformed services operations have recognized this inequity and obtained individual legislative amendments to §80 of the New York Civil Service Law requiring said demotions and reductions to be made by "inverse order of original appointment on a permanent basis in the grade or title". We believe that this is the preferred and equitable method to handle these issues within the context of the police community and that it should be adopted state-wide, which this bill would do.”**

The text of Assembly 9887, Senate 7075 is set out below:

AN ACT to amend the civil service law, in relation to the calculation of seniority for purposes of layoffs or demotions

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEMBLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

[Matter in ITALICS underscored is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted].


Section  1. Section 80 of the civil service law is amended by adding a new subdivision 1-e to read as follows:

 1-e. Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivision one of this section, the sworn members of any police agency as defined in section eight hundred thirty-five of the executive law, other than police agencies referred to in subdivisions one-a through one-d of this section shall be subject to the following procedure. Where, because of economy, consolidation or abolition of functions, curtailment of activities or otherwise, positions in the competitive class are abolished or reduced in rank or salary grade, suspension or demotion, as the case may be, among incumbents holding the same or similar positions shall be made in the inverse order of original appointment on a permanent basis in the grade or title in the service of the governmental jurisdiction in which such abolition or reduction of positions occurs, subject to the provisions of subdivision seven of section eighty-five of this chapter; provided, however, that the date of original appointment of any such incumbent who was transferred to such governmental jurisdiction from another governmental jurisdiction upon the transfer of functions shall be the date of original appointment on a permanent basis in the classified service in the service of the governmental jurisdiction from which such transfer was made. Notwithstanding the provisions of this subdivision, however, upon the abolition or reduction of positions in the competitive class, incumbents holding the same or similar positions who have not completed their probationary services shall be suspended or demoted, as the case may be, before any permanent incumbents, and among such probationary employees the order of suspension or demotion shall be determined as if such employees were permanent incumbents.

S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.

*This rationale could be applied to all positions in the classified service.


** Presumably the seniority provisions of Section 80.2 defining "continuous service" applies with respect to such an individual's rights with respect to "bumping," "displacement" and placement on a Section 81 preferred list for reinstatement.

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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 is available from the Public Employment Law Press. Click On http://nylayoff.blogspot.com/ for additional information about this electronic reference manual.
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Handbooks focusing on State and Municipal Public Personnel Law continue to be available for purchase via the links provided below:

The Discipline Book at http://thedisciplinebook.blogspot.com/

A Reasonable Penalty Under The Circumstances at http://nypplarchives.blogspot.com

The Disability Benefits E-book: at http://section207.blogspot.com/

Layoff, Preferred Lists at http://nylayoff.blogspot.com/

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