Defines certain independent contractors who install temporary traffic controls as employees for purposes of defense and indemnification.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the public officers law, in relation to the defense and indemnification of certain independent contractors
PURPOSE: This legislation would require the state to defend and indemnify independent contractors and their employees when they install temporary traffic controls at accident scenes and other unplanned incidents.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Amends § 17 of the Public Officers law to require the state to defend and indemnify "an independent contractor and its employees who install temporary traffic controls while acting pursuant to a direct order by a police officer or other public official that is in charge of the incident, in response to an accident, hazardous material spill or other unplanned incident."
JUSTIFICATION: The securing of an accident scene has always been a function of state government. However, this duty is now being delegated to towers who respond to accident scenes. For example, the towing contract on 1-84 now requires towers to respond to an accident scene with a fully stocked TIM (traffic Incident Management) truck that contains, among other things, 60 reflector cones.
The securing of an accident scene is one of the most litigation prone facets of a TIM scene because there are exacting standards that must be applied in doing so. If the State is going to pass this duty off to the private sector, it is imperative that it provide the independent contractors who perform this duty with the same protections afforded to state employees under Section 17 of the Public Officers Law.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: S.4273-A of 2011/12: Senate Finance Committee
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 5445 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE May 16, 2013 ___________Introduced by Sen. MARCELLINO -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Finance AN ACT to amend the public officers law, in relation to the defense and indemnification of certain independent contractors THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Paragraph (a) of subdivision 1 of section 17 of the public officers law, as amended by chapter 293 of the laws of 1992, is amended to read as follows: (a) As used in this section, unless the context otherwise requires the term "employee" shall mean any person holding a position by election, appointment or employment in the service of the state, including clin- ical practice pursuant to subdivision fourteen of section two hundred six of the public health law, whether or not compensated, or a volunteer expressly authorized to participate in a state-sponsored volunteer program, but shall not include an independent contractor, EXCEPT AS PROVIDED IN PARAGRAPH (Y) OF THIS SUBDIVISION. The term employee shall include a former employee, his estate or judicially appointed personal representative and persons who assist the education department or the department of health as consultants or expert witnesses in the investi- gation or prosecution of alleged professional misconduct, licensure matters, restoration proceedings, or criminal prosecutions for unauthor- ized practice pursuant to title eight of the education law or title II-A of the public health law. S 2. Subdivision 1 of section 17 of the public officers law is amended by adding a new paragraph (y) to read as follows: (Y) FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION, THE TERM "EMPLOYEE" SHALL INCLUDE AN INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR AND ITS EMPLOYEES WHO INSTALL TEMPO- RARY TRAFFIC CONTROLS AT THE SCENE OF AN ACCIDENT, HAZARDOUS MATERIAL SPILL OR OTHER UNPLANNED TRAFFIC INCIDENT, WHILE ACTING PURSUANT TO A DIRECT ORDER BY A POLICE OFFICER OR OTHER PUBLIC OFFICIAL THAT IS IN CHARGE OF SUCH TRAFFIC INCIDENT. S 3. This act shall take effect immediately.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD03239-03-3