New York Appellate Court Holds Public Employer Must Give Union Information Relevant to Grievance

In 2009, the New York City Human Resources Administration (“HRA”) issued discipline to two of the nurses it employed.  The New York State Nurses Association (“NYSNA”), which represented the nurses, filed a grievance and requested information relevant to the grievance.  In 2011, the New York City Board of Collective Bargaining (“BCB”) held that HRA committed an improper practice under New York City labor law by refusing to respond to NYSNA’s information request.  HRA challenged BCB’s decision in state court, and in 2013 the trial court annulled the BCB decision.

On May 26, 2015, the New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First Department reversed that lower court decision.  Granting an appeal by BCB and NYSNA, the appeals court held that BCB rationally based its decision on a thorough analysis of the law and facts and that the lower court should not have substituted its judgment for that of BCB.  The Appellate Division reinstated BCB’s determination requiring HRA to provide the information requested.  See City of New York v. New York State Nurses Ass’n, Index No. 401425/11 (App. Div., First Dep’t).

Cohen, Weiss and Simon LLP partner Joseph Vitale litigated the appeal for NYSNA.

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