December 15, 2018

Laws of 2018 of interest to public employers and public employees in New York State

Laws of 2018 of particular relevance to public employers and public employees in New York State

Perhaps 2018's must significant legislative action was the amendment of Section 209-a.2 of the Civil Service Law by §4 of Part RRR of Chapter 59 of the Laws of 2018. This amendment set out New York State's response to the United States Supreme Court's decision in Janus v American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, Council 31, et al, 138 SCt 2448.

In Janus the high court held that states and public-sector unions may no longer require "nonconsenting employees" in a collective bargaining unit to pay an "agency shop" fee in lieu of joining the certified or recognized employee organization representing employees in a negotiating unit for the purposes of collective bargaining.

§209-a.2 of the Civil Service Law now provides that it is not a violation of an employee organization's duty of fair representation if the employee organization limits its services to, and representation of, nonmembers by declining to provide representation to the nonmember in the relevant negotiating unit at any stage of a grievance, arbitration or other contractual process concerning the evaluation or discipline of a public employee where the non-member is permitted to [i] proceed without the employee organization and [ii] be represented by his or her own advocate; during questioning by the employer; or as an advocate to enforce statutory or regulatory rights alleged by the nonmember or in administrative or judicial proceedings where the nonmember is a party.

Other bills signed in to law by the Governor during 2018 include the following:

CHAPTER
Bill No.
Title
CROCI -- Relates to authorizing additional paid leave for certain employees
MURPHY -- Provides that each state agency that maintains a website shall ensure its website provides for online submission of requests for records subject to FOIL
Rozic -- Relates to requiring the president of the civil service commission to prepare a triennial report relating to programs within state agencies that allow for alternative work   schedules or flexible work hours
Lentol -- Relates to tuition waivers for police officer students of CUNY
GOLDEN -- Relates to terms and conditions of employment of certain nonjudicial officers and employees of the unified court system
BONACIC -- Relates to the terms and conditions of certain nonjudiciary officers and employees in the unified court system
Abbate -- Relates to compensation, benefits and other terms and conditions of employment of certain state officers and employees;appropriation; repealer
Lupardo -- Provides for pre-employment and random drug and alcohol testing of school bus drivers
McDonald -- Authorizes educational institutions to agree to pay for all or a portion of the salaries and compensation payable to municipal school crossing guards
Abbate -- Relates to residency requirements for members of municipal departments of sanitation
Skartados -- Relates to justices presiding in an off-hours arraignment part
Galef -- Requires immediate notification by law enforcement of the filing of an accusatory instrument alleging a sex offense by an employee
Gunther -- Relates to the cost of insurance to provide firefighters with an enhanced cancer disability benefit insurance program
Rules (Jones) -- Includes persons appointed as Indian police officers within the definition of the term "law enforcement agency" for the purposes of the law enforcement accreditation council
Rules (Abbate) -- Relates to implementing an agreement between the state and an employee organization; appropriation
GOLDEN -- Relates to disciplinary action against persons employed in the labor class
Cymbrowitz (MS) -- Relates to the qualifications of members of the gaming commission
Rules (Epstein) -- Relates to authorized absences by healthcare professionals who volunteer to fight the Ebola virus overseas; extends effectiveness
HANNON -- Enacts the "living donor protection act of 2018"
RULES -- Relates to salary adjustments according to plan and step-ups or increments
MARCHIONE -- Provides for an increase in the rates of compensation for gold star parents
Titus -- Relates to permitted deductions from wages; extends the effectiveness of such provisions
ROBACH -- Relates to warranties of fire vehicles and ambulances
Lifton (MS) -- Directs the president of the civil service commission to study and publish a report evaluating wage disparities among public employers

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