New York State Assembly, Albany, New York 12248

The NY State Assembly
Labor Committee

Catherine Nolan, Chair

Labor Alert

January 2003

Assembly Labor Committee Concludes 2002 Session Plans Active 2003 Legislative Session

The Assembly's Labor Committee recently concluded a successful 2002 legislative session in which they met sixteen times, participated in six public hearings and roundtables and worked for the enactment of new labor laws to protect the working men and women of our state.

Plans are underway for an active 2003 legislative session focusing on occupational safety and health issues, as well as worker education and retraining, among other things.

The Assembly Labor Committee welcomes a new committee clerk, Nisha Thomas. She joins returning staff, Geri Reilly, Committee Counsel, Bernard Bryan, Legislative Coordinator, Anne Baumann Weiss, Committee Director and Glen Casey, Committee Analyst. As always, they can be reached at (518) 455-4851.

"I am pleased that the Labor Committee, with the support of Speaker Sheldon Silver, was able to accomplish so much during the 2002 legislative session," said Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan, Chairwoman of the Labor Committee. "Numerous new laws that the Committee worked on will add to our states' worker protection and safety record. I am especially pleased that after much debate, discussion and even a veto, that the Nurse Whistleblower Protection Act was finally signed into law. Much remains to be done, however, and I look forward to working with all of you to face the many challenges that lie ahead, including increasing the minimum wage and addressing unemployment insurance issues," said Nolan.

The following is a list of legislation enacted and vetoed from the 2002 legislative session. For further information on these or other bills, please do not hesitate to contact Geri Reilly, Committee Counsel and Labor Liaison at (518) 455-4851.

  • A. 169 (Christensen) - This bill increases the civil penalty for failing to pay wages or differential in rate of pay because of gender. This bill also increases the penalty from fifty to five hundred dollars for each violation. Signed into Law, Chapter 427.
  • A. 2329 (Ortiz) - This bill authorizes the Commissioner of Labor to prepare and distribute notice of the rights of employees to each and every apparel and garment manufacturer or contractor known to the Department of Labor. Such notice shall be posted in the workplace of each manufacturer in English, Spanish, Chinese and Korean. Signed into Law, Chapter 471.
  • A. 6167 (Nolan) - This bill excludes licensed insurance agents and brokers from liability for unemployment insurance and workers' compensation provisions under certain circumstances by recognizing insurance agents and brokers as independent contractors for purposes of unemployment insurance and workers' compensation. Signed into Law, Chapter 574.
  • A. 9002 (Nolan) - This bill includes services rendered by fellow, resident and intern physicians within the definition of employment for purposes of unemployment insurance. Signed into Law, Chapter 576.
  • A. 9454 (Nolan) - This bill enacts provisions prohibiting retaliatory personnel actions by certain health care employers against health care employees who provide certain information to a governmental agency or department. Signed into Law, Chapter 24.
  • A. 9699 (Magee) - The bill makes workers who derive more than five percent of their wages from piece work eligible for the shared work program. Signed into Law, Chapter 564.
  • A. 9707 (Nolan) - This bill imposes liability on employers for discharging or discriminating against employees for displaying the American Flag on their person or their workstation. Violators will be required to pay a fine and be liable to the employee for damages; including reasonable attorney's fees and lost compensation. Signed into Law, Chapter 511.
  • A. 10129-B (Tonko) - This bill enacts the New York Professional Employer Act; requiring professional employer organizations operating in New York State to be registered with the Department of Labor. Signed into Law, Chapter 565.

  • A. 10632-C (Tocci) - This bill relates to the presumption of certain diseases, such as blood-borne diseases including, but not limited to hepatitis C, contracted by state or local correction officers during the course of their employment. Signed into Law, Chapter 239.
  • A. 11022 (Nolan) - This bill makes technical amendments to the standards for plumbing materials and establishes an exception of such standards for a city with a population of one million or more. Signed into Law, Chapter 170.
  • A. 11041 (Nolan) - This bill defines limited liability companies as "employers" for purposes of provisions of law pertaining to the payment of wages and the minimum wage. Signed into Law, Chapter 281.
  • A.11045 (Nolan) - This bill requires that employer charges for unemployment insurance benefits paid to claimants whose last employment was by an educational institution, the federal government, or an out of state employer shall be charged to the general account. The bill also eliminates the provision prohibiting the Department of Labor from considering the duration of offered employment in determining the eligibility of a claimant for unemployment benefits. Signed into Law, Chapter 282.
  • A. 11250 (Nolan) - This bill relates to the maintenance of payroll records and penalties for violations. It also establishes a first offense fine of not less than $500 or more than $20,000 or imprisonment for not more than one year. Signed into Law, Chapter 241.
  • A. 11251-A (Nolan) - This bill allows affected employees to recover from performance bonds on public work projects against the contractor, the subcontractor, or the issuer of such bond, within one year of the date of the filing of an order by the Commissioner of Labor or other fiscal officer determining a wage or supplement underpayment. Signed into Law, Chapter 242.
  • A. 11306 (Nolan) - This bill requires municipalities to provide notice and to amend its rule before reclassifying laborers, workmen or mechanics. This bill also requires municipalities to provide all pertinent information, by mail, to parties affected by such reclassification, including the collective bargaining limit representing affected workers. Vetoed by the Governor, veto memo #9.
  • A. 11307 (Nolan) - This bill makes domestic partners of persons dying, without surviving spouses, as a result of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 eligible for workers' compensation death benefits, including funeral expenses, otherwise due to a surviving spouse. Signed into Law, Chapter 467.
  • A. 11401 (Nolan) - This bill relates to the contracts for public work by requiring contracts entered into by a third person acting on behalf of a public entity pursuant to any lease, permit or other agreement between such third party and the public entity to contain a stipulation that certain workers shall not be permitted or required to work more than eight hours in any one calendar day or more than five days in any one week except in certain cases. Passed both houses, delivered to the Governor.
  • A. 11582 (Nolan) - This bill authorizes an employee organization to have the same standing to enforce the provisions of public work contracts against a contractor or any subcontractor as the officer, department, board or commission in charge of such public work contract if any of the organizations' members were employed on such public work projects. Passed both houses, delivered to the Governor.
  • A. 11784-A (Nolan) - This bill prohibits the use of state funds and facilities to assist, promote or deter union organizing. Signed into Law, Chapter 601.
  • A. 11822 (Nolan) - This bill provides that moneys in the public works enforcement fund shall be used for training and labor costs to ensure that staffing levels are maintained for fiscal year 2002-2003. The bill further requires that where the construction cost of a public work exceeds one million dollars, that the department of jurisdiction shall certify that the project will be audited from time to time by the Department of Labor to ensure compliance. This bill was vetoed by the Governor, veto memo #42.

Room 522 Legislative Office Building,
Albany, New York 12248
(518) 455-4851