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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 forward.ny.gov.

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+.

June 15, 2012

An employer may find that firefighter’s disability was not the result of a work-related injury or disease not withstanding the Retirement System’s decision to the contrary


An employer may find that firefighter’s disability was not the result of a work-related injury or disease not withstanding the Retirement System’s decision to the contrary
Davenport v City of Mount Vernon, 2012 NY Slip Op 04744, Appellate Division, Second Department

The City of Mount Vernon Fire Commissioner adopted the recommendation of a hearing officer denying a firefighter’s application for supplemental benefits otherwise available pursuant to General Municipal Law §207-a(2).* The Appellate Division confirmed the Commissioner’s decision, commenting that it was supported by substantial evidence.

The court said that the record contains evidence consisting of the reports of three orthopedic surgeons, each of whom concluded that the firefighter's condition was not caused by an accident, explaining that the Commissioner had the authority to evaluate conflicting medical evidence, and was free to credit evidence based on reports of one set of physicians over that of another set of physicians.

In Cook v City Of Utica, 88 NY 2d 833, the court ruled that while a disabled firefighter's Section 207-a benefits may depend in part on benefits paid pursuant to RSSL Section 363-c, there is no specific statutory language or anything in the legislative history concerning these measures suggesting that the Comptroller's eligibility determination with respect to RSSL benefits precluded the municipal employer from making a separate, and, as here, contrary determination with respect an individual's eligibility for GML Section 207-a benefits. Accordingly, the employer could deny granting the firefighter supplemental benefits to his or her disability retirement allowance upon a finding that the disability was not the result of a work-related injury or disease that was supported by substantial evidence.

Similarly, in Balcerak v Nassau County, 94 NY2d 25, the Court of Appeals said that "[a] determination by the Workers' Compensation Board that an injury is work-related does not by operation of collateral estoppel, automatically entitle an injured [police] officer to General Municipal Law Section 207-c benefits."

Accordingly, an employer was not precluded from determining that an individual was not entitled to Section 207-c benefits despite a prior Workers' Compensation determination in an employee had suffered an "on-the-job" injury.

* The amount of the supplement that would be paid the disabled firefighter pursuant to §207-a(2) would the difference between his or her retirement allowance and the compensation he or she would have received in active service, payable until the firefighter's mandatory age of retirement.

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 https://booklocker.com/books/5215.html

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 http://booklocker.com/books/7401.html 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 http://booklocker.com/books/5216.html

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 http://booklocker.com/books/3916.html