Bill S4249-2013

Relates to the power of the public employment relations board to investigate unfair labor practices

Relates to the power of the public employment relations board to investigate unfair labor practices.



  • Jul 12, 2013: SIGNED CHAP.148
  • Jun 20, 2013: returned to senate
  • Jun 20, 2013: passed assembly
  • Jun 20, 2013: ordered to third reading rules cal.550
  • Jun 20, 2013: substituted for a7664
  • May 22, 2013: referred to labor
  • May 22, 2013: PASSED SENATE
  • May 21, 2013: ORDERED TO THIRD READING CAL.735






TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the labor law, in relation to the power of the public employment relations board to investigate unfair labor practices

Purpose of the Bill:

This bill would amend procedures under the New York State Employment Relations Act (SERA), Labor Law §§ 700 et seq., regarding unfair labor practices and the service of pleadings, orders and other papers by the Public Employment Relations Board (PERB).

Summary of Provisions:

Section 1 of the bill would amend Labor Law § 706(2) by eliminating the responsibility of PERB to investigate unfair labor practice charges alleging violations of Labor Law §§ 704 and 704-a, and to issue and prosecute complaints with respect to those charges, consistent with its responsibilities under the Taylor Law.

Section 2 of the bill would amend Labor Law § 708(5) to delete reference to the telegraph as an acceptable means of service under SERA. The bill would also eliminate the need for PERB to utilize certified or registered mail as a means of mail service for all pleadings, orders and other papers, rather than first-class mail. Under the proposed amendment, PERB would be required to continue serving final orders issued by the PERB Board by certified or registered mail.

Section 3 of the bill provides for an immediate effective date.

Prior Legislative History:

A Similar bill, A8008-A./S4016-A, was introduced in the 2012 legislative session.

Statement in Support:

SERA is New York's private sector collective bargaining law for employees and employers who are not covered by the National Labor Relations Act and the Railway Labor Act. Effective July 22, 2010, PERB became responsible for administering SERA along with its responsibilities under the Public Employees' Fair Employment Act, which is commonly known as the Taylor Law.

In contrast with PERB's practices under the Taylor Law, Labor Law 706(2) includes an investigatory and prosecutorial role for PERB in the processing of private sector unfair labor practice charges. The provision requires PERB to investigate a private sector unfair labor practice charge filed against a private employer and to issue or decline to issue a complaint against that employer. Retention of SERA' s outdated unfair labor practice procedure creates the potential for allegations of partiality, because PERB also has the responsibility of mediating private sector negotiation impasses and strikes under SERA.

The proposed amendment to Labor Law § 706(2) seeks to harmonize the procedures for unfair labor practice charges under SERA with PERB's decades-old procedures for the processing of improper practice charges under Civil Service Law § 209-a. At the same time, the proposal seeks to retain the agency's reputation for neutrality by eliminating the statutory obligation to issue a complaint following an investigation after the filing of an unfair labor practice charge under SERA.

Fiscal Implications:


Effective Date:

This bill would take effect immediately.


STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 4249 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE March 15, 2013 ___________
Introduced by Sen. GOLDEN -- (at request of the Public Employment Relations Board) -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Civil Service and Pensions AN ACT to amend the labor law, in relation to the power of the public employment relations board to investigate unfair labor practices THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subdivision 2 of section 706 of the labor law, as added by chapter 443 of the laws of 1937, is amended to read as follows: 2. Whenever a charge has been made that any employer has engaged in or is engaging in any unfair labor practice, the board OR ITS AGENT shall have THE power to [issue and cause to be served] SERVE upon such employ- er [a complaint stating the charges in that respect and containing a notice of hearing before the board at a place therein fixed to be held not less than seven days after the serving of said complaint] A COPY OF THE CHARGE THAT WAS FILED WITH THE BOARD AND A NOTICE SETTING THE DATE FOR THE SERVICE AND FILING OF AN ANSWER. Any such [complaint] CHARGE may be amended [by the board or its agent conducting the hearing at any time] FROM TIME TO TIME prior to the issuance of an order based there- on. The EMPLOYER OR THE person so [complained of] CHARGED shall have the right to file an answer to the original or amended [complaint not less than five days after the service of such original or amended complaint] CHARGE and to appear in person or otherwise to give testimony at the place and time set [in the complaint] BY THE BOARD OR ITS AGENT. In the discretion of a member or agent conducting the hearing, or of the board, any other person may be allowed to intervene in the said proceed- ing and to present testimony. In any such proceeding the board or its agent shall not be bound by technical rules of evidence prevailing in the courts of law or equity. S 2. Subdivision 5 of section 708 of the labor law, as amended by chapter 496 of the laws of 1963, is amended to read as follows:
5. [Complaints] CHARGES, PETITIONS, orders, and other process and papers of the board, its member, agent, or agency, may be served either personally or by [certified or registered] REGULAR mail [or by tele- graph] or by leaving a copy thereof at the [principle] PRINCIPAL office or place of business of the person required to be served. The verified return by the individual so serving the same setting forth the manner of such service shall be proof of the same, and the return [post-office] POST OFFICE receipt [or telegraph receipt] therefor when registered and mailed [or telegraphed] as aforesaid shall be proof of service of the same. Witnesses summoned before the board, its member, agent, or agency shall be paid the same fees and mileage that are paid witnesses in the courts of this state, and witnesses whose depositions are taken and the person taking the same shall severally be entitled to the same fees as are paid for like services in the courts of this state. FINAL ORDERS ISSUED BY THE BOARD SHALL BE SERVED UPON THE PARTIES BY REGISTERED OR CERTIFIED MAIL. S 3. This act shall take effect immediately.


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