senate Bill S727

2011-2012 Legislative Session

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

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Archive: Last Bill Status - In Committee


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

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Actions

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Assembly Actions - Lowercase
Senate Actions - UPPERCASE
Mar 12, 2012 committee discharged and committed to rules
Mar 08, 2012 notice of committee consideration - requested
Jan 04, 2012 referred to labor
Jan 05, 2011 referred to labor

Co-Sponsors

S727 - Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A1723
Current Committee:
Law Section:
Labor Law
Laws Affected:
Amd ยง590, Lab L
Versions Introduced in 2009-2010 Legislative Session:
S4123A, A613A

S727 - Bill Texts

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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 NUMBER:S727

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

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

                                   727

                       2011-2012 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                               (PREFILED)

                             January 5, 2011
                               ___________

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 education institutions

  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.
                                                           LBD00773-01-1

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