TO SEARCH this database type in a key word or phrase in the box in the upper left and any material containing the word or phrase will be displayed for your review.

State of New York vs. COVID-19 - Governor Andrew M. Cuomo periodically updates New Yorkers on the state's progress during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The latest reports of the number of new cases, the percentage of tests that were positive and many other relevant data points concerning COVID-19 are available at forward.ny.gov.

N.B. §22 of the 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 applies this protocol to individuals referred to in a decision self-identifying as LGBTQA+.

March 15, 2021

An employee's suspension with pay pending disciplinary action may not constitute work for the purposes of qualifyiing for unemployment insurance benefits

§75.3 of the Civil Service Law, and some collective bargaining agreements, authorize the suspension of an employee with pay pending the hearing and determination of disciplinary charges filed against the employee alleging incompetency or misconduct. 

An employee [Claimant] was served with disciplinary charges and was suspended without pay from her employment for several 30-day periods. As relevant here, Claimant filed an original claim for unemployment insurance benefits effective January 15, 2018 and received benefits. The employer [Employer] then suspended Claimant with pay effective January 30, 2018, and Claimant did no further work for the Employer before being terminated from her employment effective January 25, 2019. Claimant then filed a subsequent claim for unemployment insurance benefits effective January 28, 2019. 

A Workers' Compensation Administrative Law Judge [ALJ] sustained the Department of Labor's administrative determination that Claimant was ineligible to receive further unemployment insurance benefits. The ALJ, in essence, held that a suspended employee is not performing any "work in employment" for which he or she could receive remuneration as required by §527[6] (emphasis supplied in Appellate Division's decision). 

Claimant appealed the ALJ's ruling to the Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board [Board]. The Board, sustaining the ALJ's determination, concluded that Claimant "had insufficient wages to meet the work requirements to re-qualify for a subsequent original claim and had not worked in employment and been paid remuneration for such work equal to at least 10 times [her] weekly benefit rate."

The Board had rejected Claimant contention that such monies did "constitute remuneration for work ... so as to count toward her eligibility to file a subsequent claim", citing the Board's decision set out in Matter of Appeal Board No. 569753* in support of her claim. Claimant appealed. 

Noting that Claimant performed no work for the Employer during the relevant period, the court said the question to be resolved is whether "the monies she received while suspended [with pay] constituted remuneration for work in employment so as to count toward her eligibility to file a subsequent valid original claim."

The Appellate Division then affirmed the Board's determination, explaining that to file a subsequent valid original claim, the applicant "must have worked in employment and been paid remuneration for such work since the beginning of such previous claim in an amount equal to at least [10] times the claimant's weekly benefit rate," citing Labor Law §527[6].**

The Appellate Division observed that the Board had adopted the decision of the ALJ, rejecting Claimant's argument that its decision in Appeal Board No. 569753 controlled, and opined that it perceived "nothing unreasonable in that distinction, which comports with the statutory language, and therefore [found] substantial evidence in the record to support the Board's determination that [Claimant] had not 'worked in employment and been paid remuneration for such work' in a sufficient amount to file a subsequent valid original claim."

* Claimant had relied upon Appeal Board No. 569753 in advancing her appeal to the Board, pointing out that in Board No. 569753 the Board held that an individual serving a paid suspension under the terms of a collective bargaining agreement was performing a service so as to fall within the statutory definition of employment. See https://uiappeals.ny.gov/system/files/documents/569753-appeal-decision.pdf.

** §527[6] of the Labor Law provides as follow: "Work requirement. An individual who has filed a previous valid original claim pursuant to this section must have worked in employment and been paid remuneration for such work since the beginning of such previous claim in an amount equal to at least ten times the claimant's weekly benefit rate in order to be able to file a subsequent valid original claim.

Click HERE to access the text of the Appellate Division's ruling.

 

Public Personnel Law E-books

The Discipline Book - A concise guide to disciplinary actions involving public employees in New York State set out in a 700 page e-book. For more information click on https://booklocker.com/books/5215.html

A Reasonable Disciplinary Penalty Under the Circumstances - A 442-page e-book focusing on determining an appropriate disciplinary penalty to be imposed on an employee in the public service in instances where the employee has been found guilty of misconduct or incompetence. Now available in two formats - as a large, paperback print edition and as an e-book. Click on http://booklocker.com/books/7401.html for more information.

The Layoff, Preferred List and Reinstatement Manual - A 645 page e-book reviewing the relevant laws, rules and regulations, and selected court and administrative decisions. For more information click on http://booklocker.com/books/5216.html

Disability Leave for fire, police and other public sector personnel - A 1098 page e-book focusing on disability benefits available to public officers and employees employed by New York State and its political subdivisions. For more information click on http://booklocker.com/books/3916.html