Provides that employees of the canal corporation are employees of the canal corporation, the state of New York and the Thruway Authority for purposes of the workers' compensation law.
Ayes (58): Adams, Addabbo, Alesi, Aubertine, Bonacic, Breslin, DeFrancisco, Diaz, Dilan, Espada, Farley, Flanagan, Foley, Fuschillo, Golden, Hannon, Hassell-Thomps, Huntley, Johnson C, Klein, Krueger, Kruger, Lanza, Larkin, LaValle, Leibell, Libous, Little, Marcellino, Maziarz, McDonald, Montgomery, Nozzolio, Onorato, Oppenheimer, Padavan, Parker, Peralta, Perkins, Ranzenhofer, Robach, Saland, Sampson, Savino, Schneiderman, Serrano, Seward, Skelos, Smith, Squadron, Stachowski, Stavisky, Stewart-Cousins, Thompson, Valesky, Volker, Winner, Young
Nays (2): Duane, Griffo
Excused (2): Johnson O, Morahan
BILL NUMBER: S7617
TITLE OF BILL :
An act to amend the public authorities law, in relation to the workers' compensation law application to employee status
PURPOSE OF THE BILL :
This bill would limit Canal Corporation employees to receiving workers' compensation benefits for an injury that occurs within the scope of employment and would close a loophole in current law which allows a Canal employee to sue the State of New York and the New York State Thruway Authority (NYSTA) for recovery for the same injury.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS :
This bill would amend Public Authorities Law (PAL) §382(5) to provide that employees of the Canal Corporation shall be deemed to be employees of the Canal Corporation, the State and the NYSTA for the purposes of applying the Workers' Compensation Law.
EXISTING LAW :
PAL §382 created the Canal Corporation as a public benefit corporation that is a subsidiary of the NYSTA. PAL §382(5) provides that employees of the Canal Corporation generally shall not be deemed to be employees of the NYSTA. Canal Law .6(1) provides the Canal System shall remain the property of the State as required by the State Constitution §XV(1).
Similar bills have been introduced in prior years. See S. 4056,2005/2006 (referred to Transportation); S.4892, 2003/2004 (committed to Rules); S.5201/A.9027, 2001/2002 (passed Senate in 2001, remained in Senate Transportation Committee in 2002 and remained in Assembly Corporations Committee both years).
STATEMENT IN SUPPORT :
Recently, a Canal Corporation employee was injured within the scope of employment, and while collecting workers' compensation benefits from the Canal Corporation, she also sued the State and the NYSTA. Even though the Canal Corporation is a subsidiary of the NYSTA and its annual maintenance and operations needs of approximately $80 million are funded by the NYSTA, in July 2009 the Appellate Division found the NYSTA liable for damages to the Canal Corporation employee and cited PAL §382(5) as a basis for its decision. Buckmann v. State of New York, 64 A.D.3d 1137 (4th Dept. 2009). This outcome permits Canal Corporation employees to "double dip" and receive both Workers' Compensation benefits and tort recovery against essentially the same public entity. This bill would rectify this and put Canal employees in the same position as State agency and other authority employees with respect to Workers' Compensation coverage.
BUDGET IMPLICATIONS :
This bill would save the State money by eliminating "double dipping."
EFFECTIVE DATE : This bill would take effect immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 7617 IN SENATE April 26, 2010 ___________Introduced by Sen. DILAN -- (at request of the Thruway Authority) -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Transportation AN ACT to amend the public authorities law, in relation to the workers' compensation law application to employee status THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subdivision 5 of section 382 of the public authorities law, as amended by chapter 138 of the laws of 1997, is amended to read as follows: 5. The employees of the canal corporation, except those who are also employees of the authority, generally shall not be deemed to be employ- ees of the authority by reason of their employment by the canal corpo- ration. However, officers, agents, and employees of the canal corpo- ration and officers, agents, and employees of the authority may transfer between the canal corporation and the authority, or vice versa, as provided for in section three hundred fifty-five of this title, and employees of the canal corporation may be placed on promotion lists for authority jobs and vice versa, provided, however, that the canal corpo- ration and the authority are separate promotion units for the purposes of subdivision five of section fifty-two of the civil service law. Such departmental and interdepartmental promotion eligible lists shall not be certified until after the promotion unit eligible lists have been exhausted. All officers, agents, and employees of the canal corporation shall be subject to the provisions of the civil service law which shall apply to the canal corporation as a municipal corporation other than a city. The canal corporation shall participate in the New York state and local employees' retirement system. NOTWITHSTANDING ANY OTHER PROVISION OF LAW, EMPLOYEES OF THE CANAL CORPORATION SHALL BE DEEMED TO BE EMPLOY- EES OF THE CANAL CORPORATION, THE STATE OF NEW YORK AND THE AUTHORITY FOR PURPOSES OF APPLICATION OF THE WORKERS' COMPENSATION LAW. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD15693-01-0