ALBANY – Gov. Cuomo on Thursday signed a new law that gives stronger employment protections to public workers who leave their jobs for active military duty.
Lawmakers recently approved the protections after the MTA laid off two employees-turned-soldiers last year as part of drastic cost-cutting measures.
The new law prohibits the state and other public employers from abolishing jobs that are open simply because a worker has been shipped overseas by the military.
If a job is axed because of a broader downsizing in tight economic times, active military personnel must be offered employment in an equal position within four years of their stateside return, the new law mandates.
Sen. Greg Ball (R-Putnam) and Assemblyman Robert Castelli (R-Westchester) introduced the legislation after the Metropolitan Transportation Authority bounced an Army reservist and a National Guardsman – both bus drivers.
Reserve Sgt. Alvin Taylor was fighting in Afghanistan while the Guardsman Sgt. Anddy Moreno was deployed as a supply soldier in Iraq when they received pink slips.
Both were later put back on the payroll after a series of Daily News articles.
“It was unconscionable a loophole allowed those serving to basically have their livelihoods be disposed of,” Ball said. “We just have to be proactive in protecting those who serve.” (READ MORE)