In this action, the Court of Appeals addressed the question whether Article 14 of the Civil Service Law, typically referred to as the Taylor Law, requires a public employer to engage in collective bargaining to determine the administrative procedures to be followed in determining if an employee placed on "workers' compensation leave" pursuant to Section 71 of the Civil Service Lawmay be terminated from the position if the individual is "absent from work for more than a year due to an injury sustained in the line of duty".
The decision notes that in Matter of City of Schenectady v New York State Public Employment Relations Board, 85 NY2d 480 [Schenectady] the Court of Appeals held that "a city's authority under section 207-c to make initial determinations about those matters is not 'subject to mandatory bargaining' but left open the question of whether 'the procedures for implementation of the requirements of [section] 207-c' are a subject of collective bargaining."
The Court of Appeals then noted that it "answered that question in the affirmative five years later" in Matter of City of Watertown v State of New York Public Employment Relations Board, 95 NY2d 73 [Watertown], holding that "the procedures for contesting the City's determinations under section 207-c are a mandatory subject of bargaining."
Distinguishing its ruling in Schenectady, in Watertown the court concluded that "[u]nlike the initial determinations themselves - which were at issue in Schenectady 'the text of section 207-c says nothing about the procedures for contesting those determinations'" and explained that "'based on the text and history of section 207-c, it was evident that [t]he Legislature expressed no intent - let alone the required 'plain' or 'clear' intent - to remove the review procedures from mandatory bargaining".
Opining that it is undisputed that the City's right to terminate the employee is not a mandatory negotiation subject of collective bargaining, the Court of Appeals held that the City must negotiate the administrative procedures necessary to implement that right, concluding that in this instance "collective bargaining is required."
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