In case of first impression, New York court holds that city Housing Authority arbitrarily denied reinstatement rights to injured “labor class” employee.

On August 3, 2016, the New York Supreme Court (New York County) issued a decision in a case of first impression holding that a “labor class” public employee injured on the job has reinstatement rights under New York’s civil service law.  See Jordan and City Employees Union Local 237, IBT v. NYCHA, Index No. 100993/2014.

Section 71 of the Civil Service Law gives certain reinstatement rights to employees in the classified service who have been terminated after an absence of a year or more on account of a work-related accident or injury.  A caretaker for the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) who was terminated after a workplace accident requested reinstatement under Section 71.  NYCHA refused, contending that as a “labor class” employee, she had no rights under that provision.  With her Union, Teamsters Local 237, the caretaker challenged NYCHA’s position.  In granting their petition, the court concluded that NYCHA’s construction of the civil service law was arbitrary and capricious because Section 71 applies to all employees in the classified service.

CWS attorneys Thomas N. Ciantra and Wendy LaManque represented Teamsters Local 237 and the individual employee.

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