New York State Assembly, Albany, New York 12248

The NY State Assembly
Labor Committee

Catherine Nolan, Chair

Labor Alert

April 10, 2002


Legislation that will protect health care workers who make public instances of wrongdoing by health care facilities has been signed into law. The bill, A.9454, sponsored by Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan, has passed the Assembly in similar forms for four consecutive years and was even vetoed once.

This new law will prohibit health care employers from retaliating against their workers who advocate for patient care by going public with cases of institutional wrongdoing. The bill establishes a reasonable belief that a law was violated as basis for protection; uses civil action in courts instead of administrative remedy; and calls for a fine of up to $10,000 into a special fund for improving the quality of health care.

"I am grateful to Speaker Silver for his leadership and unwavering support on this issue. New Yorkers rely on their health care professionals to be qualified and conscientious," said Nolan. "These workers play a critical role in ensuring quality health care and must be afforded protections. I applaud NYSUT, PEF, CSEA and especially the New York State Nurses Association for their work on this important issue."


The Assembly's Labor Committee met for the sixth time this session and acted on the following legislation. If you have a question about these or any other bills, please do not hesitate to call Geri Reilly, Committee Counsel and Labor Liaison at (518) 455-4851.

  • A.5027 (Green, Cook) - This bill would require that employers of four or more employees provide group health insurance for employees. REPORTED to Codes
  • A.7449 (Nolan) - This bill would provide the Commissioner of Labor with the power to require the posting of a bond to cover payroll for certain unscrupulous apparel employers. The bond would be for twice the annual payroll at the discretion of the Commissioner, or in the sum of $50,000. REPORTED to Codes
  • A.3667 (Perry, Canestrari, Colman, Cook, Nolan) - This bill would amend the general business law to allow contractors to sue the low bidder awarded a construction contract if that low bid was awarded based on the misclassification of employees as independent contractors. REPORTED to Codes
  • A.9808 (Nolan, Millman, Lavelle, Hooper) - This bill would require that workers' compensation policies assume the cost of treatment for employees exposed to a substance presumed to be anthrax by local police agencies. Thus treatment could begin before the definitive test results have been received. REPORTED to the calendar
  • A.9555 (Nolan, Glick) - This bill would allow domestic partners of those employees injured and covered by state disability benefits, as of September 11, 2001 to receive survivor benefits. REPORTED to the calendar
  • A.2884 (Clark, Brennan, Colton, Galef) - This bill would allow those who leave employment due to sexual and other forms of harassment to receive unemployment insurance benefits. REPORTED to the calendar
  • A.6172 (Nolan, Abbate, Eve, Colton) - This bill would require the Department of Labor to assist in the creation of public interest law programs at two accredited law schools in New York State. REPORTED to Ways & Means
  • A.2373 (Tocci, Mayersohn) - This bill would provide employees with the right to review and correct information in their personnel file. REPORTED to Codes
  • A.8754 (Nolan, Smith, Lavelle, McLaughlin, Abbate) - This bill would eliminate the cap on the payment of funeral expenses for police officers killed in the line of duty. REPORTED to Ways & Means