Bill Text: NY A01047 | 2019-2020 | General Assembly | Introduced

Bill Title: Relates to fair, non-biased compensation; provides for remedies and enforcement where an employee believes he or she is being discriminated against in terms of compensation in violation of section 115 of the civil service law; makes related provisions.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 8-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2019-04-25 - advanced to third reading cal.176 [A01047 Detail]

Download: New_York-2019-A01047-Introduced.html

                STATE OF NEW YORK
                               2019-2020 Regular Sessions
                   IN ASSEMBLY
                                    January 14, 2019
        Introduced  by  M. of A. SIMOTAS, COLTON, SEAWRIGHT, BLAKE, OTIS, ORTIZ,
          WALLACE -- read once and referred to  the  Committee  on  Governmental
        AN ACT to amend the civil service law, in relation to a fair, non-biased
          compensation structure
          The  People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
     1    Section 1. Section 115 of the civil service law, as added  by  chapter
     2  790 of the laws of 1958, is amended to read as follows:
     3    § 115. Policy  of  the state. 1. In order to attract unusual merit and
     4  ability to the service of the state of New York and  all  its  political
     5  subdivisions,  to  stimulate  higher  efficiency among the personnel, to
     6  provide skilled leadership  in  administrative  departments,  to  reward
     7  merit  and to insure to the people and the taxpayers of the state of New
     8  York the highest return in services for the necessary costs  of  govern-
     9  ment,  it  is  hereby declared to be the policy of the state [to provide
    10  equal pay for equal work;] and all its political  subdivisions  thereof,
    11  consistent with the federal Equal Pay Act of 1963 (29 U.S.C. § 206), the
    12  federal  Civil  Rights Act (42 U.S.C. § 2000e-2), article fifteen of the
    13  executive law, and section forty-c of the civil rights law, to ensure  a
    14  fair,  non-biased compensation structure for all employees in which sex,
    15  race, or national origin is not considered either directly or indirectly
    16  in determining the proper compensation for a title or in determining the
    17  pay for any individual or group of employees,  and  to  provide  regular
    18  increases  in  pay in proper proportion to increase of ability, increase
    19  of output and increase of quality of work demonstrated in service.
    20    2. For the purpose of this  section,  the  term  "compensation"  shall
    21  include  but not be limited to: all earnings of an employee for labor or
    22  services rendered, regardless of whether the amount of earnings is  paid
    23  on  an  annual salary, hourly, biweekly or per diem basis; reimbursement
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.

        A. 1047                             2
     1  for expenses; health, welfare and retirement benefits; and vacation pay,
     2  sick pay, separation or holiday pay, or any other form of remuneration.
     3    3.  (a)  Where  an  employee believes he or she is being discriminated
     4  against in terms of compensation in  violation  of  this  section,  such
     5  employee  may  bring an action in any court of competent jurisdiction to
     6  recover the equitable and monetary relief described in paragraph (b)  of
     7  this subdivision.
     8    (b)  (1) In any action in which a court or jury finds that an employer
     9  has engaged in acts in violation of this  section,  the  court  or  jury
    10  shall  award  to  any  affected  employee  or employees monetary relief,
    11  including back pay in an amount equal  to  the  difference  between  the
    12  employee's  actual  earnings and what the employee would have earned but
    13  for the employer's unlawful practices, including an appropriate increase
    14  in retirement benefits, and an additional  amount  in  compensatory  and
    15  punitive damages, as appropriate.
    16    (2)  In any action in which a court or jury finds that an employer has
    17  engaged in acts in violation of this section, the court shall enjoin the
    18  employer from continuing to discriminate against affected employees  and
    19  shall direct the employer to comply with the provisions of this article;
    20  and  may order the employer to take such additional affirmative steps as
    21  are necessary to ensure an end  to  unlawful  discrimination,  including
    22  reinstatement  to the same or a comparable position for employees in the
    23  unclassified service or employees classified as  management/confidential
    24  or  labor;  reinstatement with back pay; or reclassification of affected
    25  workers.
    26    (3) In any action in which an affected employee or  employees  prevail
    27  in  their  claims  against  employers, the court may, in addition to any
    28  judgement awarded to the plaintiffs, allow a reasonable attorney's  fee,
    29  reasonable expert witness fees, and other costs of the action to be paid
    30  by the employer.
    31    (c) An action to recover the damages or equitable relief prescribed in
    32  paragraph (b) of this subdivision may be maintained against any employer
    33  in  any  court of competent jurisdiction by any one or more employees or
    34  their representative for or on behalf of:
    35    (1) the employees; or
    36    (2) the employees and other employees similarly situated.
    37    4. (a) It shall not be a violation of this section for an employer  to
    38  pay  different  compensation  to employees, where such payments are made
    39  pursuant to:
    40    (1) a bona fide seniority or merit system;
    41    (2) a bona fide system that measures earnings by quantity  or  quality
    42  of production;
    43    (3) a bona fide system based on geographic differentials; or
    44    (4)  any  other  bona  fide  factor  other  than sex, race or national
    45  origin, such as education, training, or  experience.  Such  factor:  (A)
    46  shall  not be based upon or derived from a sex, race, or national origin
    47  based differential in compensation; and (B) shall  be  job-related  with
    48  respect  to  the position in question and shall be consistent with busi-
    49  ness necessity. Such exception under this paragraph shall not apply when
    50  the employee demonstrates (i) that an employer uses a particular employ-
    51  ment practice that causes a disparate impact on the basis of sex,  race,
    52  or  national origin, (ii) that an alternative employment practice exists
    53  that would serve the same purpose and not produce such differential, and
    54  (iii) that the employer has refused to adopt such alternative practice.

        A. 1047                             3
     1    (b) For the purpose of paragraph (a) of  this  subdivision,  "business
     2  necessity"  shall be defined as a factor that bears a manifest relation-
     3  ship to the employment in question.
     4    (c)  Nothing  set  forth in this section shall be construed to impede,
     5  infringe or diminish the rights and benefits which accrue  to  employees
     6  through  collective  bargaining  agreements,  or  otherwise diminish the
     7  integrity of the existing collective bargaining relationship.
     8    § 2. This act shall take effect immediately.