S4123  ONORATO?????????????   No Same as
ON FILE: 04/15/09 Labor Law
TITLE....Relates to certain rights to benefits
Currently on Senate Committee Agenda
Senate Standing Committee on Labor
Senator George Onorato, Chair
11:30 AM, Monday, April 20, 2009
Room 309 LOB

                STATE OF NEW YORK


                               2009-2010 Regular Sessions

                    IN SENATE

                                     April 14, 2009

          MAN,  STACHOWSKI, STAVISKY -- 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 certain rights to benefits

          The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and  Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:

     1    Section  1.  Subdivision 10 of section 590 of the labor law is amended
     2  by adding a new paragraph (d) to read as follows:
     3    (d) In the case of colleges or universities assigned the North  Ameri-
     4  can industry classification code 611310 or 611210 for services performed
     5  in  a  principal,  administrative, research or instructional capacity, a
     6  person is presumed not to have reasonable assurance under an offer  that
     7  is  conditioned  on  enrollment,  funding, or program changes. It is the
     8  employer's burden of proof to provide sufficient documentation to  over-
     9  come  this  presumption.  Reasonable  assurance  must be determined on a
    10  case-by-case basis by the total  weight  of  evidence  rather  than  the
    11  existence of any one factor. Primary weight must be given to the contin-
    12  gent  nature of an offer of employment based on enrollment, funding, and
    13  program changes.
    14     2. This act shall take effect immediately.

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

submitted in accordance with Senate Rule VI. Sec 1

SPONSOR: ONORATO?????????????
  TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the labor law, in relation to certain rights to benefits   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 clari- fy that employees performing in a principal, administrative, research or instructional position at two-year and four-year colleges and universi- ties 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.   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 semes- ter 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 noti- fied 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 there- fore have "no reasonable assurance" of continued employment.   LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2007-2008: 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.