[HISTORY: Adopted by the Suffolk County Legislature as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable. Uncodified sections of local laws amending these provisions are included at the end of this article.]
GENERAL REFERENCES803a Uncod LL Pro
Employee relations — See Ch. 68.
Business practices — See Ch. 353.
Article I Use of County Resources to Interfere with Collective Bargaining Activities
[Adopted 8-5-2003 by L.L. No. 26-2003 (Ch. 466, Art. I, of the 1985 Code)]
This Legislature hereby finds and determines that funds appropriated by the County Legislature for the purchase of necessary goods and services should ultimately be expended solely for the purpose for which they were appropriated and should not be used to deter or promote union organizing.
This Legislature also finds that the use of County funds and property to assist, deter, or promote union organizing causes conflicts and work interruptions which waste scarce County resources on issues of secondary importance.
This Legislature further finds and determines that where the County expends significant resources for the purchase of goods or the delivery of needed human services, the County's financial interests are advanced by the promotion of nonconfrontational procedures which limit the economic and social disruptions associated with collective bargaining disputes.
This Legislature also determines that the State of New York has recently enacted amendments to the New York Finance Law to restrict the use of state funds in assisting, deterring, or promoting union organizing.
Therefore, the purpose of this article is to protect the County's financial interests in connection with its commitment of economic resources by prohibiting funding of certain forms of labor/management conflict, and this article is not intended to provide an advantage to either labor or management during the conduct of union organizing campaigns, nor to express any generally applicable policy regarding labor/management relations.
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- ASSIST, PROMOTE, OR DETER UNION ORGANIZING
- Any attempt by an employer to influence the decision of its employees in the County of Suffolk or those of its subcontractors regarding either of the following:
Whether to support or oppose a labor organization that represents or seeks to represent those employees; and
Whether to become a member of any labor organization.
- BINDING ARBITRATION AGREEMENT
- A written agreement to submit any dispute arising out of the efforts of a labor organization to represent the employees of a County contractor to final and binding arbitration.
- COUNTY CONTRACTOR
- Any employer that receives more than $50,000 in County funds for supplying goods or services pursuant to a written contract with the County of Suffolk or any of its agencies; pursuant to a Suffolk County grant; pursuant to a Suffolk County program; pursuant to a Suffolk County reimbursement for services provided in any calendar year; or pursuant to a subcontract with any of the above.
- COUNTY FUNDS
- Any monies appropriated by the Suffolk County Legislature.
- COUNTY PROPERTY
- Any property or facility owned or leased to or by the County of Suffolk or any Suffolk County agency or authority.
- Any person employed by an employer other than a person employed in a supervisory, managerial, or confidential position as defined by applicable law.
- Any individual, corporation, unincorporated association, partnership, government agency or authority, or other legal entity, whether a for-profit entity, a not-for-profit entity, or a public entity, that employs more than one person in the County of Suffolk.
- FAIR COMMUNICATION AGREEMENT
- A written agreement requiring the parties to such agreement to refrain from providing employees with false and misleading information regarding the circumstances surrounding their employment.
- HUMAN SERVICES CONTRACT
- A County contract, grant, or reimbursement of over $50,000 for the provision of health, mental health, residential or day treatment services to the mentally ill and developmentally disabled, social services, and other care and treatment services of the County.
- LABOR DISPUTES
- Any concerted action concerning wages, hours, and conditions of employment, or concerning the representation of persons in negotiating, maintaining, changing, or seeking to arrange wages, hours, and conditions to employment.
- LABOR ORGANIZATION
- An organization of any kind in which employees participate, and which exists for the purpose, in whole or in part, of representing employees concerning wages, rates of pay, benefit, grievances, labor disputes, hours of employment, working conditions or other matters incidental to the employment relationship, and shall include the parent national or international organization of a local labor organization.
- MAJORITY AUTHORIZATION CARD AGREEMENT
- A written agreement authorizing the recognition of a labor organization as the exclusive bargaining agent for a bargaining unit based on the presentation of a majority of authorizing cards.
- NEUTRALITY AGREEMENT
- A written agreement by a County contractor not to participate in or request or otherwise seek to influence, either in writing or orally, the decision of its employees as to whether or not to be represented by a labor organization.
- NONINTIMIDATION AGREEMENTS
- A written agreement prohibiting the parties from coercing or intimidating employees, explicitly or implicitly, in selecting or not selecting a bargaining representative.
- REASONABLE ACCESS AGREEMENT
- A written agreement granting a labor organization reasonable access to employees and information necessary to be communicated therewith.
A County contractor shall not use any County funds to assist, promote, or deter union organizing.
No County funds shall be used to reimburse a County contractor for any costs incurred to assist, promote, or deter union organizing.
The County of Suffolk shall not use County funds to assist, promote, or deter union organizing.
All County contracts, grant applications, program guidelines, and any other relevant documents shall contain the text of the prohibitions stated in this section.
No employer shall use County property to hold a meeting with employees or supervisors if the purpose of such meeting is to assist, promote, or deter union organizing.
Prior to the award of a County contract or grant, and/or prior to authorization to participate in a County program, the potential awardee, recipient, and/or program participant, as the case may be, shall provide a certification, subscribed by such awardee, recipient, and/or program participant, and affirmed by said person as true under the penalties of perjury, to the County agency or authority involved that none of the funds shall be used to assist, promote, or deter union organizing.
Every request for payment of County funds by a County contractor shall include a certification, subscribed to by such person seeking reimbursement and affirmed by said person as true under the penalties of perjury, that the contractor is not seeking reimbursement for costs incurred to assist, promote, or deter union organizing.
Every County department, agency, or office shall require those seeking County contracts, grants, awards, program participation and/or County reimbursement to certify and affirm as true under the penalty of perjury that such entities will take all action necessary to ensure that County funds are not used to assist, promote, or deter union organizing.
Any County contractor who makes expenditures or incurs costs to assist, promote, or deter union organizing shall maintain records sufficient to show that no County funds were used for those expenditures and, as applicable, that no reimbursement from County funds has been sought for such costs. Such records shall be made available to the pertinent County agency or authority, the County Comptroller, or the County Department of Law upon request.
Each County contractor shall account for funds spent on assisting, deterring, or promoting union organizing activities as follows:
County funds designated by the County for use for a specific expenditure of the recipient shall be accounted for as allocated to that expenditure.
County funds that are not designated as described in Subsection A of this section shall be allocated on a pro rata basis to all expenditures by the recipient that support the program for which the grant is awarded.
If County funds and other funds are commingled, and the contractor fails to keep records sufficient to satisfy the requirements of Subsection A or B of this section, any expenditure to assist, promote, or deter union organizing shall be allocated between County funds and other funds on the pro rata basis derived from the interplay of Subsections A and B of this section.
Any expense, including legal and consulting fees and salaries of supervisors and employees, incurred for research for or preparation, planning, or coordination of or carrying out an activity to assist, promote, or deter union organizing shall be treated as paid or incurred for that activity.
This article shall apply to any contracts awarded on or after the effective date of this article.
This article shall not apply to an activity performed, or to an expense incurred, in connection with any of the following:
Addressing a grievance or negotiating or administering a collective bargaining agreement;
Allowing a labor organization or its representatives access to the employer's facility or property;
Performing an activity required by federal or state law or by a collective bargaining agreement; and
Negotiating, entering into, or carrying out a voluntary recognition agreement with a labor organization.
Every Suffolk County department, office, or agency shall:
Include in all bid documents, County grant applications, County program guidelines, and County reimbursement documents a statement informing potential and actual County contractors that the efficient, timely, and nondisruptive provision of goods and services sought by such department, office, or agency is a paramount financial interest of the County of Suffolk and as such the County expects the potential County contractor to protect the County's financial interest by adopting nonconfrontational procedures for the orderly resolution of labor disputes. The statement shall also inform the potential and actual County contractors that such nonconfrontational procedures may include, but are not limited to, neutrality agreements, majority authorization card agreements, binding arbitration agreements, fair communication agreements, nonintimidation agreements, and reasonable access agreements.
Require County contractors, and those seeking County contracts, to certify and affirm as true under the penalty of perjury:
That such contractor will not express to employees any false or misleading information that is intended to influence the determination of employee preferences regarding union representation;
That such contractor will not coerce or intimidate employees, explicitly or implicitly, in selecting or not selecting a bargaining representative;
That such contractor will not require an employee, individually or in a group, to attend a meeting or an event that is intended to influence his or her decision in selecting or not selecting a bargaining representative;
That such contractor understands its obligation to limit disruptions caused by prerecognition labor disputes through the adoption of nonconfrontational procedures for the resolution of prerecognition labor disputes with employees engaged in the production of goods or the rendering of services for the County; and
That such contractor has and will adopt any or all of the above-referenced procedures, or their functional equivalent, to ensure the efficient, timely, and quality provision of goods and services to the County. The contractor shall include a list of said procedures in such certification.
Ensure that every County contract for the provision of services, when such services will be performed on County property, include as a condition of award, grant receipt, or reimbursement, as the case may be, a requirement that such County contractor adopt a reasonable access agreement, a neutrality agreement, fair communication agreement, nonintimidation agreement, and a majority authorization card agreement.
Ensure that every County contract for the provision of human services, when such services are not to be performed on County property, include as a condition of award, grant receipt or reimbursement, as the case may be, a requirement that such County contractor adopt, at the least, a neutrality agreement.
A County contractor who expends funds and/or obtains reimbursement for funds spent in violation in § 803-3 or 803-4 of this article shall be liable for any funds so expended plus a civil penalty equal to twice the amount of those funds. Such penalty shall not be paid by the contractor from any other County funds. In addition, said County contractor shall be prohibited from bidding on County contracts for a period of five years from the final determination of a violation, either by administrative action or judicial action.
An employer that violates § 803-3 of this article, shall also be liable for a civil penalty equal to $1,000 per employee per meeting. Such penalty shall not be paid by the employer from any other County funds.
A civil action for a violation of this article may be brought by the County Department of Law for injunctive relief, damages, civil penalties, and other appropriate equitable relief.
All damages and civil penalties collected pursuant to this article shall be paid to the general fund of the County.
Any labor organization may file a complaint with the Suffolk County Department of Labor or the Suffolk County Department of Law alleging violations of this article. Said complaint shall be promptly investigated, and a written response shall be issued to the complaining labor organization.
The Department of Labor shall promulgate such rules and regulations as it deems necessary and appropriate for the implementation and enforcement of any provisions of this article.