If you are a public employer whose employees bargain under New York’s Public Employees’ Fair Employment Act, please consider the following.
Unless you have a signed dues deduction authorization card from each worker that states otherwise, you are obligated to stop dues deductions upon request. As you may know, section 208 of the Civil Service Law (or Taylor Law) was changed effective April 12, 2018 to mandate that dues deduction revocations must occur according to the terms of the signed dues deduction authorization. Prior to April 12, 2018, the General Municipal Law provided that employees could stop dues deductions at any time upon notice to the fiscal or payroll officer.
Any person who signed a dues deduction authorization prior to April 12, 2018 has a right to revoke that authorization at any time. The new language of the Taylor Law does not change that right, unless the dues deduction authorization card contains an express waiver of the statutory right to revoke at any time.
It is highly unlikely that any card signed before April this year contained such an express waiver of an implied contract term. But any doubt could be resolved by you looking at the card used to authorize deductions in the first place, assuming you have a copy on file.
If you do not possess a copy of the dues deduction authorization, you must stop deductions immediately. Under the Taylor Law and section 93-B of the General Municipal Law, you must have written authorization from employees on file before deducting any dues.
Further, contrary to what the state Department of Labor and the Governor recently suggested, lists of names provided by the unions do not meet the requirements under New York state law or the evidentiary requirement established by the Supreme Court for waiving First Amendment rights.
As the Supreme Court stated in Janus, evidence of consent to dues deductions must be clear and compelling.