- On April 5, 2016, in a case handled by Richard S. Corenthal, the New York State Court of Appeals denied the Village of Garden City’s motion to appeal the Appellate Division, Second Department’s decision and awarded one hundred dollar costs and necessary reproduction disbursements to the Garden City Professional Firefighters. As a result, the stay of arbitration is finally terminated and the Union can arbitrate its challenge to the Village’s decision to layoff six Career Firefighters and transfer their work to volunteers. On September 21, 2015, the Appellate Division, Second Department unanimously ruled that Local 1588, the Professional Firefighters Association could proceed with an arbitration challenging the Village of Garden City’s decision to layoff six Career Firefighters and assign their work to non bargaining unit Volunteers. The Appellate Division, Second Department ruled that Local 1588’s claims that the Village of Garden City improperly assigned bargaining unit work to nonunion volunteers, the very issue as to arbitrability has already been decided by this Court (Matter of Professional Firefighters Assn. of Nassau County, Local 1588, Intl. Assn. of Firefighters, AFL-CIO, 119 AD3d 803). By confirming an arbitration award which directed the petitioner to cease and desist from assigning bargaining unit work to volunteers, this Court has implicitly acknowledged the arbitrability of that specific issue.”
- Richard Corenthal successfully obtained a Temporary Restraining Order temporarily enjoining Sullivan County and the New York State Department of Civil Service from certifying the results of a civil service examination taken by incumbent employees in the County’s Solid Waste Operator (“SWO”) title and also temporarily enjoining the County and the State from removing incumbent SWO employees from their positions pending the outcome of an Article 78 proceeding (absent Civil Service Section 75 disciplinary proceedings). Justice Stephen G. Schick, New York State Supreme Court Justice, Sullivan County, signed the TRO on October 7, 2015 in Laborers International Union of North America, Local 17 et al., v. County of Sullivan et al. This Article 78 proceeding, brought on behalf of SWO employees who are LIUNA Local 17 members, seeks to “grandfather” incumbent SWO employees so that they are “covered in” and not subject to competitive civil service testing in order to remain in their positions.
- In a case handled by Richard Corenthal, a New York State Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) Administrative Law Judge ruled that the Village of Scarsdale violated the Public Employees’ Fair Employment Act by unilaterally increasing the requirements for Firefighters to obtain physician notes and by unilaterally imposing new disciplinary sick leave procedures. The PERB ALJ ordered the Village to make whole all unit employees for wages and benefits lost if any as a result of the new sick leave procedures found violative and to engage in impact bargaining with the Unformed Firefighters Association of Scarsdale, Inc., Local 1394, IAFF, AFL-CIO.
- In a September 2015 labor arbitration proceeding handled by Richard Corenthal, Arbitrator Josef Sirefman recently ruled that the City of Yonkers improperly terminated a Yonkers Firefighter. Arbitrator Sirefman ordered that the Firefighter be reinstated as a permanent member of the Yonkers Fire Department with full back pay and benefits less interim earnings. Arbitrator Sirefman ruled that the “switch to permanent status after the twelve (12) months of probationary service is ‘sacrosanct’” and “by continuing employment as a full-time employee, beyond the day when probation ended, Grievant became a permanent member, entitled to all the contractual procedures and benefits that entails.”
- Over 10 years ago, Meyer Suozzi filed unfair labor practice charges against CNN for refusing to recognize NABET-CWA, Local 11 as a Union, terminating their employees and hiring back a portion of them non-Union. On September 15, 2014, the NLRB issued a decision finding in favor or the Union, as well as a related union, NABET-CWA, Local 31, in Washington, DC. The decision includes a requirement that CNN recognize and bargain with the Union, and that it make all the effected employees whole through reinstatement and/or back-pay. In the Union’s estimation, the back-pay will total in the tens of millions. In reaching its conclusion, the NLRB had to make favorable interpretations regarding joint employer and successorship doctrine, making it a very helpful decision for NABET, as well as labor unions in general. The decision garnered a significant amount of press coverage, and is now on appeal in District Court in Washington, DC. Robert Marinovic represented NABET-CWA, Local 11.
- New York State Supreme Court, Sullivan County Justice Stephan G. Schick, by Decision and Order dated August 26, 2014, recently rejected a challenge by Sullivan County to prevent Laborers Local 17 from arbitrating a dispute involving the failure of Sullivan County to maintain a workforce of 128 employees in the County’s Department of Public Works (“DPW”). In 2010, Sullivan County had requested and obtained significant financial concessions in exchange for its promise to maintain a workforce of 128. Sullivan County reneged on the agreement , despite the fact that the Sullivan County Legislature budgeted for 128 positions and is now trying to have it both ways by obtaining all of the financial concessions made by Local 17 in order to avoid staffing cuts but without the County keeping its end of the bargain by maintaining 128 employees in the DPW unit. Judge Schick ruled that the dispute is subject to arbitration under Local 17’s collective bargaining agreement. Richard S. Corenthal, represented Laborer’s Union Local 17 in the matter.
- On July 16, 2014, the Appellate Division, Second Department unanimously reversed the decision of Supreme Court, Nassau County (Diamond, J.) and confirmed the Arbitration Award of Barbara C. Deinhardt, Esq. The Appellate Division ruled that the Village of Garden City violated the collective bargaining agreement by assigning the operation of first line equipment to volunteer firefighters rather than to paid firefighters who are members of our client, the Garden City Professional Firefighters, Local 1588, IAFF, AFL-CIO. The Appellate Division ruled further that Arbitrator Deinhardt’s Award was neither irrational nor violative of public policy. On October 28, 2014, the New York State Court of Appeals denied the Village of Garden City’s motion for leave to appeal from the Appellate Division’s decision. As a result, the Appellate Division’s decision stands and the Garden City paid firefighters retain jurisdiction over the operation of first line equipment. Richard S. Corenthal represented Local 1588 in the matter.
- On October 2013, New York State Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) denied the City of Yonkers’ Exceptions to two rulings of PERB’s Director of Conciliation which declined to process the City’s petitions for interest arbitration after the Yonkers Fire Fighters, Local 628, IAFF, AFL-CIO objected to the processing of the petitions and consented to have the terms of the expired collective bargaining agreement continue pursuant to the Tri-borough Law. Richard S. Corenthal represented the interests of the Yonkers Fire Fighters, Local 628, IAFF, AFL-CIO in this matter.
- In August 2013, Judge Kiro Matsumoto of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York granted a preliminary injunction directing 28 transportation companies that employ 8,800 school bus drivers and escorts represented by our client Local 1181 to (1) restore to those employees the terms and conditions of employment in effect under the Collective Bargaining Agreement that expired on December 31, 2012, and (2) return to the negotiating table and bargain in good faith with Local 1181 representatives. Previously, these 28 employers (and their 5 law firms) declared an impasse in negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement, walked away from the bargaining table in March, then unilaterally imposed their so-called “best and final offer” later that week, which included drastic cuts in their employees’ wages and benefits. The judge found reasonable cause to believe those actions were unlawful, and ordered that relief. The restoration of the prior terms and conditions of employment restores the wages and benefits the employees had before the March actions, on a prospective basis. The parties await a decision of an NLRB administrative law judge on the back pay and benefits owed from the March actions until the date of Judge Matsumoto’s decision. This latest victory by the 1181 team is particularly impressive in view of the heavy burden that must be met in order to obtain the drastic remedy of preliminary injunction. The case is Paulsen v. All American School Bus Corp., et al., (13-CV-03762). Richard N. Gilberg and Richard A. Brook represented 1181 in the matter.
- On August 2012, the contractual rights of Yonkers Firefighters were affirmed by the Supreme Court of New York, Westchester County. New York State Supreme Court Justice John R. LaCava issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) ordering the City of Yonkers that it cannot ignore contractually required minimum firefighter safe staffing standards. Currently the Yonkers Fire Department is required to have a minimum firefighting contingent of 57 firefighters on duty at all times to protect the city. In issuing the TRO prohibiting the City from reducing manning below 57 firefighters pending a preliminary injunction hearing scheduled on August 30, 2012, the Court confirmed that the collective bargaining agreement cannot be arbitrarily ignored. Richard S. Corenthal represents the Yonkers Fire Fighters, Local 628, International Association of Firefighters, AFL-CIO.
- In May 2012, Meyer Suozzi client, UFCW Local 1500 scored a tremendous victory this week against Target with respect to its organizing of workers at Target’s Valley Stream, NY store. A federal administrative law judge ordered a new union election because Target had violated the National Labor Relations Act, including by threatening closure of the store and interrogating employees about their union activities. In a ruling with implications for employers nationwide, the judge found Target’s employee handbook to be unlawful because it limited employees’ right to post company-related information on the internet, maintained an illegal dress code policy and prohibited employees from distributing literature and returning to the store after work. Patricia McConnell handled the case.
Meyer Suozzi’s representation of more than three dozen of the most prominent local and national labor unions has made us one of the preeminent union-side labor law firms in New York. We represent unions in virtually every industry–health care, construction, transportation, newspaper publishing, package delivery, hospitality, communications, distribution, manufacturing and retail food–as well as such public sector unions as fire fighters, police officers and teachers.
Working closely with both our government relations and our employment practice and, if need be, our litigation team, our labor law group provides our clients with the experience and negotiating skills necessary to navigate difficult and often frustrating political, management and legislative issues.
Our labor law attorneys, frequently sought for their expert commentary, have been interviewed by such publications as The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal and have appeared on national television and radio.
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