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A02527 Summary:

BILL NOA02527
 
SAME ASNo Same As
 
SPONSORDinowitz
 
COSPNSRKavanagh, Miller MG, Abinanti, Weprin
 
MLTSPNSRGottfried, Lifton
 
Amd 519 & 750, Judy L; amd 215, Lab L
 
Creates, in addition to the existing sanction of criminal contempt of court, the remedies of labor law civil penalties and employee's right to bring civil action for unlawful discharge, penalty or discrimination on account of the exercise by an employee of a juror's right to be absent from employment by reason of jury service.
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A02527 Actions:

BILL NOA02527
 
01/20/2017referred to judiciary
05/09/2017reported referred to codes
05/16/2017reported
05/18/2017advanced to third reading cal.392
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A02527 Memo:

NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY
MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION
submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
 
BILL NUMBER: A2527
 
SPONSOR: Dinowitz (MS)
  TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the judiciary law and the labor law, in relation to creating additional remedies for unlawful discharge, penalty or discrimination on account of the exercise of a juror's right to be absent from employment for jury duty   PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: Adds discrimination in any manner in addition to discharge or penalty as actions an employer cannot engage in when an employee is selected for jury duty. This act also amends the labor law so that civil penalties can be levied against the employer and/or civil action can be brought against the employer for violations arising from an employee's right to be absent from employment due to jury duty.   SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: Section 1 amends section 519 of the judiciary law to specify that absence due to jury duty service is not grounds for discharge or any discrimination of any kind from one's employer. Section 2 Amends paragraph 7 of subdivision A of section 750 of the judiciary law, as amended by chapter 823 of the laws of 1982. Section 3 amends section 215 of the labor law, as amended by chapter 564 of the laws of 2010, and paragraph (b) of subdivision 1 and paragraph (a) of subdivision 2 of the laws of 2014, to allow the Commissioner of the Department of Labor to assess civil penalties against employers if it is determined that they in any way discriminated against workers resulting for jury duty service. Section 3 also permits employees to wage additional civil action against employers for any discrimination, loss of employment, damages, and reasonable attorney's fees. Section 4 provides for an effective date.   JUSTIFICATION: This act is needed to prevent any discrimination that might occur by an employer against an employee because the employee chose to exercise their duty and privilege of serving on a jury. In the past, an employer could not penalize or discharge an employee who served on a jury. This act would further clarify the law, allowing more employees to feel more secure in fulfilling their obligation, thereby allowing more persons to participate in the jury process. In turn, this would give our juries a greater cross-section of the population and make juries more represen- tative of society. This act would also allow for civil penalties and civil action against employers which will help to ensure that employers do not penalize, discharge or discriminate against those employees who are called to serve on juries.   PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2015-16- A.116-A - Advanced to Third Reading Cal. No. 412 2013-14- A.649 - Advanced to Third Reading Cal. No. 531 2011-12- A.718-A - Advanced to Third Reading Cal. No. 316/S.4065 - Referred to Judiciary 2009-10- A.609-A - Passed Assembly 2007-08- A.408 - Passed Assembly 2005-06- A.1246A - Passed Assembly/ S.3128-A- Referred to Judiciary 2003-04- A.3173 - Passed Assembly 2001-02- A.218 - Passed Assembly 1999-2000- A.68 - Passed Assembly   FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None to the State.   EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on the thirtieth day after it shall have become law.
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A02527 Text:



 
                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________
 
                                          2527
 
                               2017-2018 Regular Sessions
 
                   IN ASSEMBLY
 
                                    January 20, 2017
                                       ___________
 
        Introduced  by  M.  of  A.  DINOWITZ,  KAVANAGH, M. G. MILLER, ABINANTI,
          WEPRIN -- Multi-Sponsored by -- M. of A.  GOTTFRIED,  LIFTON  --  read
          once and referred to the Committee on Judiciary
 
        AN  ACT  to  amend  the  judiciary law and the labor law, in relation to
          creating  additional  remedies  for  unlawful  discharge,  penalty  or
          discrimination  on  account  of  the exercise of a juror's right to be
          absent from employment for jury duty
 
          The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and  Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
 
     1    Section  1.   Section 519 of the judiciary law, as added by chapter 85
     2  of the laws of 1995, is amended to read as follows:
     3    § 519. Right of juror to be absent from employment.  Any person who is
     4  summoned to serve as a juror under the provisions of  this  article  and
     5  who  notifies  his or her employer to that effect prior to the commence-
     6  ment of a term of service shall not, on account of absence from  employ-
     7  ment  by  reason  of  such  jury  service, be subject to discharge [or],
     8  penalty, or discrimination in any other manner.  An employer may, howev-
     9  er, withhold wages of any such employee serving as a  juror  during  the
    10  period  of such service; provided that an employer who employs more than
    11  ten employees shall not withhold the first forty dollars of such juror's
    12  daily wages during the first three days of jury service. Withholding  of
    13  wages  in  accordance with this section shall not be deemed a penalty or
    14  discrimination in any other manner.   Violation of  this  section  shall
    15  constitute  a  criminal contempt of court punishable pursuant to section
    16  seven hundred  fifty  of  this  chapter  and  shall  also  constitute  a
    17  violation of section two hundred fifteen of the labor law and be subject
    18  to the civil penalties and civil action provided for thereunder.
    19    § 2. Paragraph 7 of subdivision A of section 750 of the judiciary law,
    20  as  amended  by  chapter  823 of the laws of 1982, is amended to read as
    21  follows:
 
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD03180-01-7

        A. 2527                             2
 
     1    7. Wilful failure to obey  any  mandate,  process,  or  notice  issued
     2  pursuant to [articles] article sixteen[, seventeen, eighteen, eighteen-a
     3  or  eighteen-b] of [the judiciary law] this chapter, or to rules adopted
     4  pursuant thereto, or to any other statute relating thereto,  or  refusal
     5  to  be  sworn  as  provided  therein,  or  subjection  of an employee to
     6  discharge [or], penalty,  or  discrimination  in  any  other  manner  on
     7  account  of  his  or  her  absence  from employment by reason of jury or
     8  subpoenaed witness service in  violation  of  this  chapter  or  section
     9  215.11  of  the  penal  law.    Applications to punish the accused for a
    10  contempt specified in this subdivision may be made by notice  of  motion
    11  or  by  order to show cause, and shall be made returnable at the term of
    12  the supreme court at which contested motions are heard, or of the county
    13  court if the supreme court is not in session.
    14    § 3. Section 215 of the labor law, as amended by chapter  564  of  the
    15  laws of 2010, paragraph (b) of subdivision 1 and paragraph (a) of subdi-
    16  vision  2  as  amended by chapter 537 of the laws of 2014, is amended to
    17  read as follows:
    18    § 215. [Penalties] Civil penalties and civil action; prohibited retal-
    19  iation. 1. (a) No employer or his or her agent, or the officer or  agent
    20  of  any  corporation,  partnership, or limited liability company, or any
    21  other person, shall discharge,  threaten,  penalize,  or  in  any  other
    22  manner  discriminate  or retaliate against any employee (i) because such
    23  employee has made a complaint to his or her employer, or to the  commis-
    24  sioner  or  his  or  her  authorized  representative, or to the attorney
    25  general or any other person, that the employer has  engaged  in  conduct
    26  that  the  employee, reasonably and in good faith, believes violates any
    27  provision of this chapter, or any order issued by the commissioner  (ii)
    28  because  such  employer or person believes that such employee has made a
    29  complaint to his or her employer, or to the commissioner or his  or  her
    30  authorized  representative,  or to the attorney general, or to any other
    31  person that the employer has violated any provision of this chapter,  or
    32  any  order  issued  by  the commissioner (iii) because such employee has
    33  caused to be instituted or is about to institute a proceeding  under  or
    34  related  to  this  chapter,  or  (iv) because such employee has provided
    35  information to the commissioner or his or her authorized  representative
    36  or  the  attorney general, or (v) because such employee has testified or
    37  is about to testify in an investigation or proceeding under  this  chap-
    38  ter,  or  (vi)  because  such  employee  has  otherwise exercised rights
    39  protected under this chapter, or (vii) because the employer has received
    40  an adverse determination from the commissioner involving  the  employee,
    41  or  (viii)  because  such  employee has exercised his or her right to be
    42  absent from employment pursuant to section five hundred nineteen of  the
    43  judiciary law by reason of jury service.
    44    An  employee  complaint  or other communication need not make explicit
    45  reference to any section or provision of this  chapter  to  trigger  the
    46  protections of this section.
    47    (b)  If after investigation the commissioner finds that an employer or
    48  person has violated any provision of this section, the commissioner may,
    49  by an  order  which  shall  describe  particularly  the  nature  of  the
    50  violation,  assess  the  employer  or person a civil penalty of not less
    51  than one thousand nor more than ten thousand dollars provided,  however,
    52  that  if  the  commissioner  finds  that  the  employer has violated the
    53  provisions of this section in the preceding six years,  he  or  she  may
    54  assess a civil penalty of not less than one thousand nor more than twen-
    55  ty  thousand  dollars.  Each act taken in contravention of a prohibition
    56  contained in this section  shall  constitute  a  separate  and  distinct

        A. 2527                             3
 
     1  violation  of  this section, and in assessing any such civil penalty the
     2  commissioner shall consider, in addition to the nature of the violation,
     3  all prior findings of violations of the provisions of  this  section  by
     4  the  employer.  The  commissioner  may also order all appropriate relief
     5  including enjoining the conduct of  any  person  or  employer;  ordering
     6  payment of liquidated damages to the employee by the person or entity in
     7  violation;  and,  where the person or entity in violation is an employer
     8  ordering rehiring or reinstatement of the employee to his or her  former
     9  position or an equivalent position, and an award of lost compensation or
    10  an  award  of  front  pay  in lieu of reinstatement and an award of lost
    11  compensation. Liquidated damages shall be calculated as  an  amount  not
    12  more  than  twenty  thousand dollars. The commissioner may assess liqui-
    13  dated damages on behalf of every employee aggrieved under this  section,
    14  in addition to any other remedies permitted by this section.
    15    (c)  The  provisions  of  section two hundred thirteen of this article
    16  shall not apply to the violations specified in this section.
    17    (d) This section shall not apply to employees  of  the  state  or  any
    18  municipal subdivisions or departments thereof.
    19    2.  (a)  [An]  In  addition  to the civil penalties provided for under
    20  subdivision one of this section, an employee may bring a civil action in
    21  a court of  competent  jurisdiction  against  any  employer  or  persons
    22  alleged to have violated the provisions of this section. The court shall
    23  have  jurisdiction  to  restrain  violations of this section, within two
    24  years after such violation, regardless of the dates of employment of the
    25  employee, and to order all appropriate relief, including  enjoining  the
    26  conduct  of  any  person  or  employer;  ordering  payment of liquidated
    27  damages, costs and reasonable attorneys' fees to  the  employee  by  the
    28  person  or  entity  in  violation;  and,  where  the person or entity in
    29  violation is an employer, ordering  rehiring  or  reinstatement  of  the
    30  employee  to his or her former position with restoration of seniority or
    31  an award of front pay in lieu of reinstatement, and  an  award  of  lost
    32  compensation  and  damages, costs and reasonable attorneys' fees. Liqui-
    33  dated damages shall be calculated as an  amount  not  more  than  twenty
    34  thousand  dollars.  The  court  shall  award liquidated damages to every
    35  employee aggrieved under this section, in addition to any other remedies
    36  permitted by this section. The statute of limitations  shall  be  tolled
    37  from the date an employee files a complaint with the commissioner or the
    38  commissioner  commences an investigation, whichever is earlier, until an
    39  order to comply issued by the commissioner becomes final, or  where  the
    40  commissioner  does  not  issue  an  order,  until  the date on which the
    41  commissioner  notifies  the  complainant  that  the  investigation   has
    42  concluded. Investigation by the commissioner shall not be a prerequisite
    43  to  nor  a  bar  against  a  person  bringing  a civil action under this
    44  section.
    45    (b) At or before the commencement of any action  under  this  section,
    46  notice  thereof shall be served upon the attorney general by the employ-
    47  ee.
    48    3. Any employer or his or her agent, or the officer or  agent  of  any
    49  corporation,  partnership,  or  limited  liability company, or any other
    50  person who violates subdivision one of this section shall be guilty of a
    51  class B misdemeanor.
    52    § 4. This act shall take effect on the thirtieth day  after  it  shall
    53  have become a law.
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