September 30, 2020

Worker Classification - employee or independent contractor - Internal Revenue Service Webinar scheduled for October 7, 2020

The Tax Exempt and Government Entities Division of the Internal Revenue Service has issued a reminder inviting interested individuals who have not already done so should click here to registerfor the free Worker Classification Webinar to be held on October 7, 2020 at 1:00 p.m. (ET).

This Webinar is designed to help government entities and not-for-profit organizations understand the definition of an employee and determine whether a particular worker is an employee or an independent contractor.*

The Webinar will also cover IRS Form SS-8, Classification Settlement Agreements, and what to do if an individual is determined to be an employee.

Questions may be submitted to inserting as the subject line:

 Pre-submitted questions for the Workers Classification Webinar (October 7).

Questions submitted will be answered as time permits.

Additional information is posted on the Internet at: Webinars for Tax Exempt & Government Entities.

 * See, also,


September 28, 2020

Workers' Compensation benefits to be paid to a claimant during the claimant's pre-trial incarceration

Is a person entitled to receive workers' compensation benefits while he is in jail? 
An individual [Claimant] was receiving Workers' Compensation benefits when he was arrested. Unable to obtain bail, Claimant was kept in jail in "pretrial detention." Ultimately Claimant entered a plea of guilty and his 237 days of "pretrial detention" were credited against his sentence. * 
Claimant's employer and its insurance carrier, the State Insurance Fund [jointly "Employer"] asked Workers' Compensation to grant it credit for the benefits it paid Claimant during Claimant's 237 days of "pretrial" incarceration. The Workers' Compensation Appeals Board [Board], affirmed a Workers' Compensation Law Judge's decision denying the Employer's request. The Employer appealed the Board's ruling. 
The Appellate Division sustained the Board's determination, opining that it could not find any "legitimate governmental purpose in denying workers' compensation benefits to individuals who ... are incarcerated solely because they cannot post bail, while continuing [to pay] such benefits to individuals who are able to do so." 
Observing that workers' compensation benefits would have been paid to Claimant and no claim for credit would have been filed by Petitioners had Claimant been released on bail rather than held in jail, the court, citing Bilello v A. J. Eckert Co., 43 AD2d 192, held that "the denial of benefits to a claimant who is incarcerated awaiting trial while continuing to pay benefits to a claimant who was able to post bail presents a serious question of denial of equal protection of the law." 
* Penal Law §70.30(3) provides convicted individuals with a credit for any incarceration time served prior to conviction so that their sentences will be the same as those imposed upon individuals who were not so detained [Powell v Malcolm, 44 A.D.2d 65, appeal dismissed 34 N.Y.2d 752]. 
The decision is posted on the Internet at: 


September 26, 2020

Lucha contra la mala conducta en el trabajo

Lucha contra la mala conducta en el trabajo: los empleadores pueden poner a disposición de su personal una "aplicación" (la aplicación #NotMe) que permite la presentación fácil y oportuna de quejas de presunta mala conducta del supervisor o compañero de trabajo a los oficiales de personal, equipos de recursos humanos, oficiales de cumplimiento o individuos designados. Haga clic en obtener información sobre este programa.


Audits of State Departments and Agencies issued September 25, 2020

On September 25, 2020, New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli announced the following audits have been issued.

Click on the text in color to access the full report. 

Department of Environmental Conservation: Oversight of Waste Tire Cleanup and Use of Waste Tire Fees (Follow-Up) (2020-F-12) A report issued in August 2019 found that DEC had made significant progress abating identified waste tire sites. However, auditors identified delays in the timely abatement of waste tire sites due to delays in establishing a new abatement contract through the Office of General Services as well as other problems with certain enforcement steps. In a follow-up, auditors found that DEC has implemented all three of the recommendations from the initial report.  

Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC): Title V Operating Permit Program Revenues, Expenditures, and Changes in Fund Balance for the Eight Fiscal Years Ended March 31, 2017 (2020-F-13) An audit covering the period April 1, 2009 through March 31, 2017 found DEC generally had adequate procedures in place to capture the Clean Air Act program’s revenues, expenditures and changes in fund balance transaction data. However, auditors identified errors in the permit fee billing process and in the allocation of expenses to the program. In a follow-up, auditors found DEC has made significant progress in correcting the problems identified in the prior report.  

Department of Health (DOH): Medicaid Overpayments for Inpatient Care Involving Mechanical Ventilation Services (Follow-Up) (2020-F-10) A report released in May 2019 identified $975,795 in overpayments on 32 inpatient claims that reported 96 consecutive hours or more of mechanical ventilation services. In a follow-up, auditors found DOH officials made some progress in addressing the problems identified in the initial audit report; however, additional action is needed.  

Department of Labor (Labor), Department of Taxation and Finance (Tax and Finance): New York Youth Jobs Program (Follow-Up) (2020-F-7) A report issued in January 2019, found Labor could improve its methods for verifying eligibility for the youth jobs program, and that Tax and Finance could better ensure that the tax credits granted are accurate and only for program-eligible youth. In a follow-up, auditors found that Labor and Tax and Finance implemented the five recommendations from the initial audit. 

Office of Mental Health (OMH): Administration of the Contract With the Postgraduate Center for Mental Health (Follow-Up) (2020-F-51) A report issued in December 2016, determined sampled clients under the Supportive Housing Contract with the Postgraduate Center for Mental Health were eligible for the program, were referred to the program via the proper authorities and that client case files contained required documentation. However, visits to certain client apartments identified what appeared to be ongoing conditions that could negatively affect the health or safety of clients. In a follow-up, auditors found OMH has made some progress addressing the issues identified in the initial report. 

Division of Military and Naval Affairs: Lead Contamination of State Armories (2019-S-50) Auditors found public access has continued at four armories that contain lead levels exceeding the acceptable threshold. None of these four armories disclosed the excess lead levels to the public. Three are allowing public access through non-military use agreements that include a women’s shelter and a community center. One is a now a military museum. Auditors also found lead hazard awareness training was not provided to employees at three armories. 

Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation: Compliance With Executive Order 95 (Open Data) (2019-S-65)The office has taken steps to meet the requirements of Executive Order (EO) 95; however, certain aspects of the order have not been fully addressed. Within the required time frame, the office appointed a qualified data coordinator responsible for EO 95 compliance. However, it did not identify the total population of publishable state data that it maintains. Therefore, there is limited assurance the office has provided a complete catalogue or established a schedule for making the data public, as required.  

New York City Department of Sanitation (DSNY): Street and Sidewalk Cleanliness (2019-N-1) DSNY needs to improve its communication, coordination and record keeping processes to efficiently and effectively address persistent cleanliness problems on New York City streets and sidewalks. Based on site visits to a sample of 271 areas with multiple complaints, auditors determined 189 streets and 159 sidewalks were dirty based on ratings criteria. DSNY officials did not analyze readily available data such as service requests or its own monitoring records to identify problem areas or trends.


September 25, 2020

Local government 2019 Fiscal Stress Scores announced by New York State's Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli

Warning that the COVID-19 pandemic could push more local governments into serious fiscal stress, on September 24, 2020, New York State's Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli reported that twenty-two local governments* that were designated in fiscal stress for 2019. The scores were based on financial information reported by local governments operating on a calendar year basis for pre-pandemic Jan. 1 – Dec. 31 for 2019. ** 

In the words of the State Comptroller: “We’ve been closely tracking the trends and common problems that communities in fiscal stress are facing. Now the economic damage caused by the pandemic has dramatically altered the fiscal landscape, and many communities are struggling to provide critical services and pay their bills. Without aid from Washington, the options are bleak for local governments trying to stay in the black, and many more local governments may be pushed into serious fiscal stress.”

Comptroller DiNapoli’s Monitoring System informs the public about local governments’ financial health by evaluating and scoring municipalities on financial indicators such as year-end fund balance, cash-on-hand, short-term borrowing, fixed costs and patterns of operating deficits. The system also evaluates population trends, poverty and unemployment to establish separate “environmental” scores for each municipality.

In total, Comptroller DiNapoli has designated 31 local governments in fiscal stress for 2019. This includes nine local governments with non-calendar fiscal years announced in March, including the cities of Long Beach [Nassau County] and Amsterdam [Montgomery County] which had the highest fiscal stress scores in the state.

The State Comptroller also released a report on common elements shared by the 31 local governments in fiscal stress. It also noted the fiscal stress risks associated with COVID-19 on local finances, including sharp declines in sales tax revenue, significant withholding of state aid payments to local governments, and existing stress factors such as low fund balance. The report highlighted the targeted training and guidance offered by the State Comptroller’s Office to help local officials dealing with financial challenges.

Also included were the following: 

Municipalities in Stress for Fiscal Year Ending 2019
Municipalities Who Did Not File or Designated Inconclusive

Excel Spreadsheet
Detailed List of All Municipalities in State and Fiscal Stress Points

Fiscal Stress Monitoring System – Municipalities: Fiscal Year 2019 Results and Fiscal Year 2020 Risks


* In January, DiNapoli issued fiscal stress scores for school districts and found 33 school districts designated in some level of fiscal stress for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2019. 

** All New York State's counties and towns, 44 cities and 10 village.


September 24, 2020

Establishing regional step-down facilities to temporarily care for individuals who have been discharged from a hospital after receiving treatment for COVID-19

New York State Senator Sue Serino has introduced a bill, Senate 8996, that would require the New York State Health Department to submit a plan to establish regional step-down facilities to temporarily care for individuals who have been discharged from a hospital after receiving treatment for COVID-19, or any other sickness related to a pandemic, to a nursing home, adult care facility or assisted living residence where such individual would reside in safety. 

The bill provides that the Department of Health, in consultation with organizations representing hospitals, nursing homes, adult care facilities and assisted living residences, shall develop a plan to establish regional step-down facilities in the event of a second wave of COVID-19 or another pandemic and requires the Health Commissioner to submit such plan to the governor and legislative leaders of the Senate and Assembly by no later than October 15, 2020.

Senator Serino's Memorandum in Support of Bill states that "[one] of the biggest lessons learned from [the COVID-19 crisis was] that New York, along with many other states and countries, [was] simply unprepared to handle a pandemic of this magnitude. While concern that hospitals would be overwhelmed at the height of the pandemic was justified, sending COVID-19 positive patients into nursing homes among our most vulnerable population defied commonsense.

"OVID-19, and many believe this to be a serious undercount as New York State, contrary to the practices of other states with major COVID-19 outbreaks, only count residents who died in the facilities and excluded those who contracted the virus in the facility but later died in the hospital. Many within nursing homes have compared the spread of COVID-19 within the facility once it has entered to wildfire. This analogy is particularly troubling given that more than 6,300 hospital patients were released into nursing homes." 

The Commissioner would also be required to review and update the regional step-down facility plan biennially, or more frequently if the Commissioner it deems necessary. The plan would be posted publicly on the Department of Health's website.

No companion bill has yet been introduced in the New York State Assembly.



September 23, 2020

Crediting service for certain benefits base on employment in another jurisdiction

In this CPLR article 78 proceeding, an employee of the City of New York [Plaintiff] sought judicial review of a New York City Department of Environmental Protection [DEP] determination that she was not entitled to leave-time credits based on her 17 years service with the City University of New York [CUNY]. Supreme Court denied Plaintiff's petition and dismissed the proceeding, explaining that “employees in the classified service of the City University of New York have not been employees of an agency of the City of New York but have been employees of a separate civil service jurisdiction, the City University of New York.”

According, the court held that DEP's decision that Plaintiff was not a City employee who was covered by the Leave Regulations during the times that she was employed by CUNY "was legally correct and not arbitrary and capricious."

Nonetheless, opined Supreme Court, "if the Plaintiff could show that CUNY and the City had an agreement or MOU [Memorandum of Understanding] permitting the City to recognize her accrued CUNY leave credits, she might be entitled there such credit, noting that "the State has promulgated regulations recognizing a State employee’s right to the transfer of leave credits accrued in the course of other public employment where the prior public employer entered into a reciprocal agreement or MOU with the State for recognition of such leave credits," citing 4 NYCRR 24.1.* 

Insofar as Plaintiff's claim was concerned, CUNY and the City had not entered into such a reciprocal agreement or MOU. Thus, said the court, DEP rationally concluded that there was no basis for crediting the Plaintiff any of her service as a CUNY employee in connection with her City-service leave benefits, or the rate of accrual of those benefits.** In contrast, where an employee resigns one position with the City that was covered by the Leave Regulations and takes another position with the City also covered by the Leave Regulations, the employee does not lose any leave rights or balances, regardless of whether the new position carries the same or a different title, or is in the same or a different agency.

With respect to Plaintiff's contentions, in the words of the court, "A review of applicable law and the administrative record reflects that, since July 1, 1979, CUNY employees have not been employees of the City, and CUNY and the City never entered into an agreement or MOU covering this subject matter." Accordingly, an employee’s length of City service determines his or her rate of accrual of leave balances and the length of such service also is considered in connection with seniority for layoff purposes, and may affect the level of recurring benefits under a collective bargaining agreement.

In other words, should an employee resigns a position with the City that was covered by the Leave Regulations and takes a position with a public employer other than the City, or a City position not covered by the Leave Regulations, "the employee may indeed lose leave rights, including any favorable rates of leave accrual that were in effect as the time of resignation" nor may the employee carry over leave balances in the event that he or she returns to City service in the future.

Accordingly, Supreme Court held that DEP had properly concluded that the Plaintiff's leave-time credits and rate of accrual must be based on a start date of November 2, 2014, when she began her employment with DEP. 

* 4 NYCRR 24.1 is applicable to employees of State executive agencies as the employer. See, also, 22 NYCRR 24.12, which provision is applicable to nonjudicial employees of the State Unified Court System. 

** See Kaslow v City of New York, 23 NY3d 78.

The decision is posted on the Internet at

September 21, 2020

Certain teachers employed by the New York City Department of Education seek court order permitting them to "telework remotely"

A number of teachers [Petitioners] employed by the New York City Department of Education [DOE] initiated a CPLR 78 action seeking a court order permitting them to "telework remotely" rather then report to work in person. The Petitioners:

(1) Challenged as arbitrary and capricious the July 15, 2020, DOE's remote teaching policy for the 2020-2021 school year issued in response to the Covid-19 pandemic; and

(2) Sought a court order compelling DOE to allow Petitioners “and all others similarly situated" to telework remotely on full salary or without loss of leave.

Essentially Petitioners’ motion sought a temporary restraining order [TRO] prohibiting DOE from forcing Petitioners to report to work in person, charging their "Cumulative Absence Reserve and sick leave days" as the result of "telework" related absences, if any, and compelling DOE to permit Petitioners to teach remotely.

Supreme Court, after oral argument, opined that "In evaluating the balance of equities on a motion for a preliminary injunction, courts must weigh the interests of the general public as well as the interests of the parties to the litigation,” citing Amboy Bus Co., Inc. v Klein, 2010 NY Slip Op 31356[U]. To obtain an injunction, said the court, a plaintiff is “required to show that the irreparable injury to be sustained is more burdensome to him than the harm that would be caused to the defendant through the imposition of the injunction.”

Explaining that ".... several Petitioners have already been granted leave to work remotely until at least September 21, 2020, or have simply declined to return in-person until further notice," the court held that "the balance of the equities by an exceedingly thin margin favors Petitioners."

Supreme Court then granted the TRO solely to the extent that DOE may not, "until further order of the Court:"

a. Compel the named Petitioners to report to work in person;

b. Deny the named Petitioners the ability to work remotely; and

c. With respect to the named Petitioners, deny or deduct salary and/or leave time for remote work.

Supreme Court then ordered the parties to telephone the court to discuss the logistics of an expedited hearing on the preliminary injunction and Petition.

The Supreme Court's decision is posted on the Internet at



September 18, 2020

Termination for ordinary disability pursuant to §73 of the Civil Service Law

§73 of the Civil Service Law, "Separation for ordinary disability," in pertinent part provides that in the event an employee on leave for ordinary disability pursuant to §72 of the Civil Service Law has been continuously absent from and unable to perform the duties of his position for one year or more by reason of a disability, other than a disability resulting from occupational injury or disease as defined in the Worker's Compensation Law, "his employment status may be terminated and his position may be filled by a permanent appointment."

The Town terminated a police sergeant [Petitioner] employed by the Town's Police Department pursuant to Civil Service Law §73. Petitioner, contending that the determination to terminate his employment was made in violation of lawful procedure and was affected by error of law, challenged the Town's action. Supreme Court denied Petitioner's CPLR Article 78 petition and dismissed the proceeding.

The Appellate Division subsequently affirmed the Supreme Court's ruling, opining that although an administrative determination may be annulled when it "was made in violation of lawful procedure [or] was affected by an error of law" there were no relevant issues of fact that would have necessitated a post-termination hearing, citing Prue v Hunt , 78 NY2d 364.* 

However, a §73 termination is not pejorative and a former employee may, within one year after the termination of the disability, apply to the civil service department or municipal commission having jurisdiction over the position last held by such employee for a medical examination to be conducted by a medical officer selected for that purpose by such department or commission. 

If the former employee is found medially qualified to perform the duties of his former position he is to be reinstated. In there is no vacancy to which he may be appointed, the former employee's name is to be placed on a preferred list. Further, the individual is eligible for appointment to a vacancy in a similar position or a position in a lower grade in the same occupational field in his former department or agency. 

* NYPPL's summary of the Court of Appeals' decision in Prue is posted on the Internet at 

The decision is posted on the Internet at



September 17, 2020

Attorney disciplined after pleading guilty to misprision of felony

Misprision of felony" originated in English common law and constitutes a crime  wherein an individual having knowledge that a felony has been committed fails to inform the appropriate authorities of that event. 

This Appellate Division decision reports that an attorney [Respondent] "pleaded guilty, in the United States District Court for the Western District of New York to misprision of a felony* in violation of 18 USC §4." Respondent had served as the settlement attorney representing "The Funding Source" [TFS] in a number real estate transactions that involved loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration [FHA].

In the course of his participation in a number of New York State real estate transactions the Appellate Division found that Respondent had learned that his co-defendants were engaged in a scheme to fraudulently obtain mortgages on behalf of unqualified borrowers that were insured by the FHA. This involved the submission of certain documents knowing that certain information in those documents was false.** 

The Appellate Division's decision reports that although Respondent did not know the full extent of the scheme, he "became aware he was being used to defraud financial institutions and he failed to notify authorities of his codefendants' use of fraud to obtain funds from TFS." The decision also notes that "Respondent also took affirmative steps to conceal the fraud by signing, or having his paralegal sign, documents sent to the banks."

Respondent, said the court, had received fees in transactions in which he served as settlement attorney. In other transaction, in which Respondent was one of the three sellers and also represented the purchaser, the Appellate Division noted that he had received his initial investment plus a profit. 

With respect to such monies, the Appellate Division observed that "Respondent has paid restitution ... for the seven transactions in which he had served as settlement attorney."

Ultimately the Appellate Division granted the parties' in the instant action joint motion for discipline by consent and Respondent was "suspended from the practice of law in the State of New York for a period of two years, effective ... April 18, 2019, and until further order of this Court." 

* Citations to selected New York State decisions referencing "Misprision of Felony" are set out below. Click on the text highlighted in colorto access the text of the decision.

Matter of Fishman, 22 A.D.3d 100, 2005 NYSlipOp 06802

Matter of Calonge v Calonge, 52 AD3d 1111, 2008 NYSlipOp 05630;

Matter of Marino, 73 A.D.3d 5, 2010 NYSlipOp 01800;

Matter of McKenzie, 177 AD3d 134, 2019 NYSlipOp 06729;

People v Jenkins, 55 Misc 3d 1207(A), 2017 NYSlipOp 50449(U); and

People v Williams, 20 AD3d 72, 2005 NYSlipOp 04317.

** Respondent stipulated that [1] he stands convicted of a "serious crime" (see 179 AD3d 19);  [2] he violated the New York Rules of Professional Conduct; and [3] he is subject to discipline by the Appellate Division pursuant to 22 NYCRR 1240.12(c)(2). 

The instant decision is posted on the Internet at: 


September 16, 2020

Freedom of Information Law Rulings

Summaries of selected Freedom of Information Law [FOIL] court and administrative rulings posted on New York Public Personnel Law

Click on the text highlighted in color to access the text of the posting.

A “conclusory affidavit” by the custodian of the records that are the target of a FOIL request insufficient to trigger a FOIL “statutory exception”

A FOIL request seeking the names of a public retirement system’s retirees may be denied by the custodian of the records as exempt from disclosure

A Freedom of Information demand may trump an agreement to keep some or all of the terms of a disciplinary action settlement "confidential"

A Freedom of Information request for records concerning law enforcement operations may be denied

A peer-review panel member’s evaluation of an individual may be withheld from disclosure pursuant to a FOIL request

A police officer's personnel records are exempt from disclosure pursuant to the Freedom of Information Law during and after he or she leaves public service

A state may deny access to records available to its citizens pursuant to its Freedom of Information Law to individuals not citizens of that state who make a FOIL request for such records

Access to documents under FOIL limited

Action for alleged defamation follows disclosure of document pursuant to a FOIL request 

An agency may decline to acknowledge that requested records exist in response to a Freedom of Information Law request

An attorney’s advice sent by one layperson to another layperson not an attorney-client communication subject to a FOIL exception

An autopsy of a Freedom of Information request

An entity claiming that it is not subject to the State’s Freedom of Information Law has the burden to provide documentary evidence that conclusively establishes such a defense as a matter of law

An individual terminated pursuant to Civil Service Law §71 must be reinstated consistent with §71 once the individual has been found qualified to return to work by a medical officer selected by personnel department or civil service commission having jurisdiction

Another FOIL Lesson: Be mindful of your audience

Applying the exemption from releasing documents and records to the public pursuant to a FOIL request

Attorney-Client privilege and e-mail communications

Certain information contained in personnel records may be redacted in complying with a Freedom of Information request

Certain personnel records are exempt from disclosure pursuant to Public Officers Law §87(2)(a) and Civil Rights Law §50-a even in a redacted form

Challenging the denial of a Freedom of Information Law request on the representation that the records are exempt from disclosure

Charging a fee for the cost of reviewing and redacting requested video footage sought pursuant to New York State's Freedom of Information Law

Commissioner of Education does not have jurisdiction to resolve FOIL or Title IX appeals

Complying with administrative procedural requirements prior initiating litigation seeking information pursuant to the Freedom of Information Law

Conditioning the disclosure of material sought pursuant to a FOIL request upon the prepayment of costs authorized by statute

Confidentiality of disciplinary records based on an agreement not to disclose their contents

Confidentiality of police records

Correspondence exchanged between public officers and agencies and private consultants are within the ambit of the Freedom of Information Law

Court cites the “principle of stare decisis” in affirming a custodian of public record’s denial of a Freedom of Information Law request

Courts are to determine the appropriate balance between personal privacy and public interests in considering the appeal of a denial of a Freedom of Information [FOIL] request

Custodian of a public record may decline to release pre-decision materials prepared to assist in final decision making being sought pursuant to a Freedom of Information request

Decision highlights some essentials of the Freedom of Information Law

Determining if a "non-governmental entity" is an "agency" within the meaning of the New York State's Freedom of Information Law and thus subject to its provisions

Disclosing the unlisted telephone numbers called by public officials pursuant to a FOIL request

Disclosure of public information or records to one is disclosure to all Disclosure of the terms of settlement agreements pursuant to a FOIL demand

Disclosure of public records pursuant to the Freedom of Information Law

Documents concerning an employee’s separation and post-termination employment benefits available under New York's Freedom of Information Law

Documents containing information used to evaluate the performance of specified public employees are not subject to disclosure pursuant to a Freedom of Information request

Duplicative FOIL requests

E-mails between a public employer and an applicant for public employment may be subject to disclosure pursuant to the Freedom of Information Law

Employee disciplined for alleged acts of misconduct that took place 20 years earlier

Employee organization may not rely of a FOIL request to obtain the names of charter school employees

Entities subject to the Open Meetings Law and the Freedom of Information Law

Exceptions to providing public records pursuant to New York State's Freedom of Information Law [FOIL]

Expanding exemptions from FOIL to protect "technology assets used to maintain public information"

FOIL amended

Exploring claimed procedural obstacles to demands for certain records pursuant to New York's Freedom of Information Law

Exploring claimed procedural obstacles to demands for certain records pursuant to New York's Freedom of Information Law

Failure of the custodian of a public record sought pursuant to a Freedom of Information Law request to respond to the request within the relevant time limit deemed a denial of the request

Failure to respond to a request for documents sought pursuant New York State's Freedom of Information Law

Filing a FOIL request for personnel records

Footage at issue captured by a body-worn-camera held not a "personnel record" within the meaning of §50-a of the Civil Rights Law

Freedom of information [FOIL] requests for information concerning health insurance plans

Freedom of information and speech

Freedom of Information in cases involving the termination of an employee – an advisory opinion

Freedom of Information requests

Freedom of Law only applies to public entities

Governor Cuomo signs Executive Order 8-149 providing for expediting the Freedom of Information Law appeals process

Home addresses of State employees and retirees may be excluded from disclosure in response to a FOIL request

If the custodian of a record demanded pursuant to the Freedom of Information Law refuses to provide the record, the custodian has the burden of showing that an exemption applies 

Misconduct off-duty and FOIL

Names of retired New York City police officers not available pursuant to a FOIL request

Neglecting to advise a party of the availability of an administrative appeal defeats a failure to exhaust administrative remedies defense

New York State's E-mail management and preservation policy

New York’s Freedom of Information Law does not permit the custodian of the records to routinely charge for employee time spent searching for documents responsive to a FOIL request

Objecting to producing certain documents demanded pursuant to a non-judicial subpoena duces tecum

Obtaining police personnel records pursuant to a Freedom of Information Law [FOIL] demand

Only a governmental not-for-profit corporation’s records is subject to FOIL

Police agency's records concerning breath alcohol measurement instruments may be obtained pursuant to a Freedom of Information Law request

Processing a Freedom of Information request

Processing Freedom of Information Law requests for disciplinary records of law enforcement personnel involving "unsubstantiated and unfounded complaints against an officer"

Providing the names and home addresses of employees of a private contractor to an employee organization to be determined by applying a “balancing test” to avoid an "unwarranted invasion" of privacy

Public Authority agrees to pay legal expenses incurred as a result of its not responding to a Freedom of Information request

Public benefit corporations are subject to the Open Meetings Law and the Freedom of Information Law as long as they remain public benefit corporations

Public employees personal E-mails exempt from disclosure from FOIL Source: Adjunct Law Prof Blog;
Redacting certain content in a public record when responding to a Freedom of Information request

Redacting the name of the accused employee from the decision following a disciplinary hearing

Releasing the body camera footage recorded by equipment worn by a police officer

Remedying an inadvertent disclosure of records provided pursuant to a Freedom of Information Law request

Responding to a Freedom of Information Law request by neither confirming nor denying the existence of such information or data

Sanctions ordered after lawsuit filed pursuant to the Freedom of Information Law ruled frivolous

Seeking documents that the custodian of the records contends may be denied pursuant to one or more Freedom of Information Law “exemptions from disclosure”

Seeking information pursuant to a Freedom of Information [FOIL] request

Seeking public documents and records pursuant to New York State's Freedom of Information Law

Seeking public records the custodian contends are exempt from disclosure within the meaning of the Freedom of Information Law

Some guidelines to consider in determining the records to be delivered, in whole or in part, in responding to a Freedom of Information Law request

Some limitations to obtaining information pursuant to New York State's Freedom of Information Law

Standards used by courts in evaluating the denial of a Freedom of Information request for public records

State Senate required to provide employee payroll records in response to a Freedom of Information Law request

The “law enforcement exemption” in POL §87(2) (e) (iv) is not applicable to FOIL requests for documents that might result in administrative disciplinary action

The “personal records” exemption from disclosure set out in Civil Rights Law §50-a (1) applies to both active and former employees of the agency

The custodian of a public record must articulate particularized and specific justification for denying access to a record requested pursuant to the Freedom of Information Law

The custodian of public records demanded pursuant to a FOIL request electing to withhold some or all such records has the burden of demonstrating that the information requested falls within a statutory exemption

The custodian of the records has the burden of proving that information it withheld in responding to a FOIL request is within a FOIL exemption

The denial of a FOIL request by an entity subject to the Freedom of Information Law may not be based on the purpose for which the document or record was produced or the function to which it relates

The Freedom of Information Law does not require an agency to formulate a final determination in the event there is none in existence

The Freedom of Information Law typically does not require an entity to create records not in existence in order to satisfy a FOIL request

The government must honor its promise not to disclose the names of individuals asked to disclose certain information – at least for the present

Where disclosure is not barred by statute, claims of “unwarranted invasion of personal privacy" are resolved by a court weighing "privacy interests" against the public's interest in the information

Writ of mandamus to compel disclosure of records pursuant to FOIL



Subsequent court and administrative rulings, or changes to laws, rules and regulations may have modified or clarified or vacated or reversed the decisions summarized here. Accordingly, these summaries should be Shepardized® or otherwise checked to make certain that the most recent information is being considered by the reader.
Consistent with the Declaration of Principles jointly adopted by a Committee of the American Bar Association and a Committee of Publishers and Associations, the material in this blog is presented with the understanding that neither the publisher nor members of the staff are providing legal advice to the reader and in the event legal or other expert assistance is needed, the reader is advised to seek such advice from a competent professional.