senate Bill S75

Relates to unemployment insurance benefits for professional employment by certain educational institutions

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Bill Status


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor
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actions

  • 09 / Jan / 2013
    • REFERRED TO LABOR
  • 08 / Jan / 2014
    • REFERRED TO LABOR

Summary

Provides that an offer of employment or assignment made to a part-time faculty employee by a higher education institution which is contingent on enrollment, funding, or programmatic changes shall not constitute reasonable assurance of continued employment.

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Bill Details

Versions:
S75
Legislative Cycle:
2013-2014
Current Committee:
Senate Labor
Law Section:
Labor Law
Laws Affected:
Amd §590, Lab L
Versions Introduced in Previous Legislative Cycles:
2011-2012: S727
2009-2010: S4123A

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S75

TITLE OF BILL:
An act
to amend the labor law, in relation to unemployment insurance benefits
for professional employment by certain educational institutions

PURPOSE:
This legislation will ensure that professionals employed in two-year
and four-year colleges who are not given reasonable assurance of
continued employment will be eligible for unemployment insurance
during periods of unemployment.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
The bill adds a new paragraph (d) to Labor Law section 590(10) to
clarify that employees performing in a principal, administrative,
research or instructional position at two-year and four-year colleges
and universities in New York are presumed not to have reasonable
assurance of continued employment when their positions are
conditioned on enrollment, funding or program changes. They would be
eligible for unemployment benefits during periods of unemployment
unless their employer provides sufficient documentation to overcome
this presumption. An employer's letter stating that employment is
conditional would not constitute prima facie evidence of reasonable
assurance.

JUSTIFICATION:
Unemployment insurance is intended to help workers during periods of
unemployment when they lack income through no fault of their own.
Currently, however, many part-time faculty members at colleges and
universities in New York are unable to receive unemployment benefits
when they become unemployed between semesters if their employer
claims they have a "reasonable assurance" of continued employment,
but do not re-hire them when the next semester starts This leaves
many faculty in a state of limbo as to whether they will have a job
when the new semester starts since their employer's decision often
depends upon contingent factors such as enrollment, funding, and
programmatic changes. It is not uncommon for employers to initially
provide part-time faculty with a letter of intent that their jobs
will continue the following semester, but then notify them very close
to the start of the new semester that their employment will not be
continue. For many adjunct faculty, the few courses they teach are
their sole source of income.

The current law provides an incentive for colleges and universities to
wait as long as possible to officially disclose to faculty that they
will not be employed for the upcoming semester in order to avoid
paying unemployment insurance costs. As a result, faculty are only
eligible for unemployment insurance benefits from the time they are
officially notified of their non-renewal for the next semester. By
comparison, other workers who are similarly out of work for months at
a time, such as construction workers and actors, are eligible for
benefits during periods of seasonal unemployment. Other jurisdictions
such as California and Washington state allow their faculty employees
to collect benefits during periods when they are not working.


This bill will help to ensure that faculty members are treated
equitably under the current law as other workers who have no
reasonable assurance of future employment. It is reasonable and just
to afford these benefits to faculty who have no control over their
contract employment and therefore have "no reasonable assurance" of
continued employment.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
2011-12: S.727
2009-10: S.4123-A Referred to Labor and Reported to Finance
2007-08: A.2515 Reported to Ways & Means; S.4845 Referred to Labor
2006: S.4830-A Advanced to 3rd Reading; A.8201-B Reported to Rules

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:
To be determined.

EFFECTIVE DATE:
This act shall take effect immediately.

view bill text
                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                   75

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                               (PREFILED)

                             January 9, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sen. PERALTA -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee on Labor

AN ACT to amend the labor law, in  relation  to  unemployment  insurance
  benefits  for  professional  employment  by certain educational insti-
  tutions

  THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND  ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section  1.  Subdivision 10 of section 590 of the labor law is amended
by adding a new paragraph (d) to read as follows:
  (D) IN THE CASE OF COLLEGES OR UNIVERSITIES ASSIGNED THE NORTH  AMERI-
CAN INDUSTRY CLASSIFICATION CODE 611310 OR 611210 FOR SERVICES PERFORMED
IN  A  PRINCIPAL,  ADMINISTRATIVE,  RESEARCH OR INSTRUCTIONAL CAPACITY A
PERSON IS PRESUMED NOT TO HAVE REASONABLE ASSURANCE UNDER AN OFFER  THAT
IS CONDITIONED ON ENROLLMENT, FUNDING OR PROGRAMMATIC CHANGES. IT IS THE
EMPLOYER'S  BURDEN  TO PROVIDE SUFFICIENT DOCUMENTATION TO OVERCOME THIS
PRESUMPTION. REASONABLE ASSURANCE MUST BE DETERMINED ON  A  CASE-BY-CASE
BASIS  BY  THE TOTAL WEIGHT OF EVIDENCE RATHER THAN THE EXISTENCE OF ANY
ONE FACTOR. PRIMARY WEIGHT MUST BE GIVEN TO THE CONTINGENT NATURE OF  AN
OFFER  OF  EMPLOYMENT  BASED ON ENROLLMENT, FUNDING AND PROGRAM CHANGES.
PROVIDED, HOWEVER, THAT IN ANY UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE PROCEEDING A WRIT-
TEN LETTER FROM AN EMPLOYER TO AN EMPLOYEE WHICH MAKES EMPLOYMENT CONDI-
TIONAL SHALL NOT BE PRIMA FACIE EVIDENCE OF REASONABLE ASSURANCE  TO  BE
USED TO DENY A CLAIM FOR UNEMPLOYMENT.
  S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.



 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD01074-02-3

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