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N.B. §22 of 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 typically follows this protocol.

NYPPL's most recent posting is set out below.

January 23, 2020

Agency's alleged failure to process an employee's contract grievance does not state a claim that the union breached its duty of fair representation


PERB's ruled that petitioner [Employee] in this CPLR Article 78 action failed to state a claim of improper practices against his employer [Agency] and his employee organization [Union] based on his allegation that the Agency "did not process his grievances quickly enough." The Employee appealed but the Appellate Division unanimously affirmed PERB's determination.

Citing Civil Service Bar Association, Local 237 v City of New York, 64 NY2d 188, the Appellate Division explained that PERB had rationally found that Employee failed to allege facts that would show that his Union had engaged in arbitrary, discriminatory or bad faith conduct, which is necessary to state a claim that the Union had breached its duty of fair representation within the meaning of Article 14 or the Civil Service Law, typically referred to as the Taylor Law.

Noting that Employee had acknowledged that a Union representative had sent an email to the Agency seeking to schedule three of Employee's grievances for a "Step II hearing" with respect to Employee's primary complaint that the Agency "did not process his grievances quickly enough," the court opined that such an allegation "does not present a basis for finding that [the Union] breached its duty of fair representation." As the Employee failed to show that the Union had breached its duty of fair representation, he was precluded from litigating directly against the Agency for any alleged improper employer practice within the meaning of Civil Service Law §209-a(1).

Further, said the court, PERB "rationally concluded that [Employee's] charge failed to allege facts that would show that [the Agency] refused to process his grievances on the basis of improper motivation or discrimination. Indeed, the Appellate Division observed that "construed liberally in [Employee's] favor, the allegations in the charge are conclusory and fail to establish that PERB acted arbitrarily and capriciously in dismissing the charge."

The decision is posted on the Internet at:

NEW YORK PUBLIC PERSONNEL LAW ELECTRONIC HANDBOOKS

The Discipline Book - A concise guide to disciplinary actions involving public officers and employees in New York State. For more information click on http://booklocker.com/books/5215.html

A Reasonable Disciplinary Penalty Under the Circumstances - Determining an appropriate disciplinary penalty to be imposed on an employee in the public service found guilty of misconduct or incompetence. For more information click on http://booklocker.com/7401.html

Disability Benefits for fire, police and other public sector personnel - Addresses retirement for disability under the NYS Employees' Retirement System, the NYS Teachers' Retirement System, General Municipal Law Sections 207-a/207-c and similar statutes providing benefits to employees injured both "on-the-job" and "off-the-job." For more information click on http://booklocker.com/books/3916.html

The Layoff, Preferred List and Reinstatement Manual -Focusing on relevant laws, rules and regulations, and selected court and administrative decisions. For more information click on http://booklocker.com/books/5216.html

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Text prepared by Harvey Randall except as otherwise noted. Randall, former Principal Attorney, New York State Department of Civil Service, also served as Director of Personnel for the State University System; as Director of Research, Governor’s Office of Employee Relations; and as Staff Judge Advocate General, New York Guard. He has an MPA from the Maxwell School, Syracuse University and a J.D. from Albany Law School.