December 13, 2018

Taylor Law amended to clarify an employee organization's duty of fair representation of non-members in a collective bargaining unit  
Section 209-a.2 of the Civil Service Law

In Janus v American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, Council 31, et al, 138 SCt 2448, the Supreme Court held that "States and public-sector unions may no longer extract agency fees from nonconsenting employees. The First Amendment is violated when money is taken from nonconsenting employees for a public-sector union; employees must choose to support the union before anything is taken from them. Accordingly, neither an agency fee nor any other form of payment to a public-sector union may be deducted from an employee, nor may any other attempt be made to collect such a payment, unless the employee affirmatively consents to pay."

In response to the Janus decision, §209-a.2 of the Civil Service Law was amended and 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 non-members in accordance with this subdivision or declines to provide representation to a non-member in the relevant negotiating unit:

[1] during questioning by the employer;

[2] in statutory or administrative proceedings;

[3] to enforce statutory or regulatory rights; or

[4] 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.

[5] the employee organization is not prohibited from providing legal, economic or job-related services or benefits beyond those provided in the relevant collective bargaining agreement with a public employer "only to its members."


In addition, §209-a.3 provides that in the event a charge  is filed alleging that the employee organization has breached its duty of fair representation in its processing of, or it failure to process, a claim, the public employer is to be made a party in the action.  

* §4 of Part RRR of Chapter 59 of the Laws of 2018


Other bills signed into law by the Governor:

1. Chapter 271 of the Laws of 2018 amended the §75 of the Civil Service Law to provide that certain  persons  holding  a  position in the Labor Class shall not be removed or otherwise subjected to any disciplinary penalty except  for incompetency or misconduct; and

2. Chapter 403 of the Laws of 2018 directs the President of the New York State Civil Service Commission to study and publish a report evaluating wage disparities among public employers.

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