April 26, 2019 Fiscal Year 2019 – 2020 Budget Legislation – Civil Service Law Amendments
KEEPING YOU INFORMED…
We are writing to inform you of amendments to the Taylor Law that were adopted as part of the Fiscal Year 2019-2020 Budget Legislation (“the Budget”).
I. Union Requests for Information
The Public Employment Relations Board has, for decades, issued decisions requiring employers to provide unions, upon request, with information reasonably necessary for negotiations and administering their collective bargaining agreements. The Budget has, effective immediately, codified in the Taylor Law a union’s right to the name, address, job title, employing agency or department or other operating unit and work location of all employees in the bargaining unit. It limits an employer’s obligation to provide this information to once per quarter, upon the union’s request. This legislation does not supersede or preempt any collectively bargained procedure regarding requests for information or the obligation to provide same.
II. Improper Disclosure of Employee Information
Effective immediately, it is an improper practice for a public employer or its agents to disclose home addresses, personal telephone numbers, personal cell phone numbers and personal e-mail addresses of public employees, except where required pursuant to the Taylor Law or if otherwise required by law. The legislation does not affect other laws regarding disclosure of “work-related, publicly available information such as title, salary and dates of employment.”
III. Interest Arbitration
Civil Service Law § 209(6) has, for years, required an interest arbitration panel to make a determination as to whether the public employer is a “fiscally eligible municipality.” This determination takes into account various factors measuring the employer’s fiscal health and its ability to pay wage and benefit increases. When a panel determines that a public employer is a “fiscally eligible municipality,” the law mandates that the panel base 70% of its decision regarding wages, benefits and other terms and conditions of employment on the employer’s ability to pay.
Civil Service Law § 209(6) was scheduled to expire on July 1, 2019. That date has been extended to July 1, 2024.
IV. Agency Shop Fee Deductions and Indemnification
In light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Janus decision, the Budget adds a new Section 215 to the Taylor Law. That section provides that, in connection with any claim pending or filed on or after June 27, 2018, a public employer or employee organization will not be liable, pursuant to State law, for requiring, deducting, receiving or retaining agency shop fee deductions from public employees prior to the Janus decision. The law also bars current or former public employees from pursuing these claims, although the law cannot preempt current or future lawsuits asserting federally protected (e.g., First Amendment) rights.
If you would like additional information on how this new legislation affects your workforce, collective bargaining agreements or policies, please contact Alyson Mathews or one of our other attorneys at 631-694-2300.
THIS MEMORANDUM IS MEANT TO ASSIST IN GENERAL UNDERSTANDING OF THE CURRENT LAW. IT IS NOT TO BE REGARDED AS LEGAL ADVICE. THOSE WITH PARTICULAR QUESTIONS SHOULD SEEK THE ADVICE OF COUNSEL.
© Lamb & Barnosky, LLP 2019