Friday, July 05, 2013

Federal regulation did not preempt employer’s obligation to collectively bargain a new employer policy in this instance

Federal regulation did not preempt employer’s obligation to collectively bargain a new employer policy in this instance
City of New York v Board of Collective Bargaining of the City of N.Y., 2013 NY Slip Op 04887, Appellate Division, First Department

The City of New York filed a petition pursuant to CPLR Article 78 in an effort to annul a decision by the Board of Collective Bargaining of the City of New York granting the union’s improper practice petition.

Supreme Court denied the City’s petition and granted the Board’s motion to dismiss the action. The Appellate Division affirmed the lower court’s rulings.

The City had claimed that “federal regulations” permitted its Department of Transportation [DOT] to unilaterally require an employee to submit a doctor's "fit for duty" statement following his or her absence from work for three or more days. The Appellate Division concluded that the City’s reliance on federal regulation in this instance was misplaced and did not preempt its obligation to collectively bargain requiring those employees absent from work for three or more days to produce a physician’s statement of “fitness.”

The court also rejected the City’s argument that it was “absolved from bargaining on ‘public policy’ grounds based on DOT’s mission of providing safety in the ferry system.”

The Appellate Division explained that there was nothing in the record to establish that the rule unilaterally imposed by DOT would substantially further its core mission of “safety in the ferry system.” In addition, said the court, there was nothing in the record that demonstrated any need for the new requirement unilaterally imposed by DOT sufficient to outweigh its adverse impact on the collectively-bargained rights of the employees to whom it would apply.

The decision is posted on the Internet at:
http://www.nycourts.gov/reporter/3dseries/2013/2013_04887.htm

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/

Challenging Adverse Personnel Decisions 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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