Bill S4748-2013

Clarifies the improper governmental actions which may be disclosed by state legislative employees without retaliation from their legislative employer

Clarifies the improper governmental actions which may be disclosed by state legislative employees without retaliation from their legislative employer.

Details

Actions

  • Jan 8, 2014: REFERRED TO CIVIL SERVICE AND PENSIONS
  • Apr 22, 2013: REFERRED TO CIVIL SERVICE AND PENSIONS

Memo

BILL NUMBER:S4748

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the civil service law, in relation to the reporting of improper governmental actions by legislative employees

PURPOSE:

The purpose of this bill is to expand the "whistle blower" protections contained in the Civil Service Law for public employees to clearly include the disclosure of information about the activities of a state legislator or legislative employee that has or may have violated the ethics provisions of the Legislative Law or Article 4 of the Public Officers Law or the Penal Law related to corruption activities.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Section 1: Amends Civil Service Law section 75-b (2) to clearly expand the "whistle blower" law protections for government employees to include situations when a legislative employee reports to the Commission on Public Integrity, Legislative Ethics Commission,the NYS Attorney General, local District Attorney or any other governmental body that such state legislator or legislative employee has or may have violated the State's Ethics Laws, Public Officers Law or the Penal Law.

Section 2: Amends Civil Service Law section 75-b to add a new subdivision (5) to mandate that every public employer that is part of the legislative branch of government must inform their public employees of their rights, duties and protections provided for under this new law. Further, a prominent notice of such protections must be posted at the place of employment in an accessible area of employment

JUSTIFICATION:

This legislation will assist in improving the enforcement of ethics laws by providing "whistle blower" protections for officers and employers of the legislative branch of government. Legislative employees serve at the pleasure of their appointing authority; their "at will" status may deter an employee from reporting violations to regulatory bodies including the Commission on Public Integrity and the Legislative Ethics Committee. Providing protections to those who are in positions to know the ethics laws and possibly be aware of violations will facilitate enforcement of these valuable laws.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

2011-2012 Session - referred to Civil Service and Pension with no further action

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:

None.

EFFECTIVE DATE:

This act shall take effect 30 days after it shall have become law.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 4748 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE April 22, 2013 ___________
Introduced by Sen. SAVINO -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Civil Service and Pensions AN ACT to amend the civil service law, in relation to the reporting of improper governmental actions by legislative employees THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Paragraph (a) of subdivision 2 of section 75-b of the civil service law, as amended by chapter 899 of the laws of 1986, is amended to read as follows: (a) A public employer shall not dismiss or take other disciplinary or other adverse personnel action against a public employee regarding the employee's employment because the employee discloses to a governmental body information: (i) regarding a violation of a law, rule or regulation which violation creates and presents a substantial and specific danger to the public health or safety; or (ii) which the employee reasonably believes to be true and reasonably believes constitutes an improper governmental action. "Improper governmental action" shall mean any action by a public employer or employee, or an agent of such employer or employee, which is undertaken in the performance of such agent's offi- cial duties, whether or not such action is within the scope of his OR HER employment, and which is in violation of any federal, state or local law, rule or regulation. FURTHERMORE, WITH REGARD TO DISCLOSURES BY OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES OF THE LEGISLATIVE BRANCH OF GOVERNMENT, "IMPROP- ER GOVERNMENTAL ACTION" SHALL ALSO INCLUDE ANY ACTION OR ACTIVITY TAKEN BY A MEMBER OF THE LEGISLATURE OR BY A LEGISLATIVE EMPLOYEE, AS DEFINED IN PARAGRAPH (C) OF SUBDIVISION ONE OF SECTION SEVENTY-THREE OF THE PUBLIC OFFICERS LAW, WHICH VIOLATES OR MAY VIOLATE ANY PROVISION OF THE LEGISLATIVE LAW, THE PENAL LAW OR THE ARTICLE FOUR OF THE PUBLIC OFFI- CERS LAW THAT IS REPORTED TO A GOVERNMENTAL BODY, INCLUDING THE JOINT COMMISSION ON PUBLIC ETHICS.
S 2. Section 75-b of the civil service law is amended by adding a new subdivision 5 to read as follows: 5. EVERY PUBLIC EMPLOYER THAT IS PART OF THE LEGISLATIVE BRANCH OF THE STATE SHALL INFORM ITS PUBLIC EMPLOYEES OF THEIR RIGHTS, DUTIES AND PROTECTIONS PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION, BY CONSPICUOUSLY POSTING A WRITTEN NOTICE THEREOF. SUCH NOTICES SHALL BE POSTED IN EASILY ACCESSIBLE AND WELL-LIT LOCATIONS CUSTOMARILY FREQUENTED BY SUCH EMPLOYEES AND APPLI- CANTS FOR EMPLOYMENT. S 3. This act shall take effect on the thirtieth day after it shall have become a law.

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