NYC COBA Newsletter Features MDASR

MDASR featured in COBA NYC's April 2019 Newsletter
MDASR featured in COBA NYC's April 2019 Newsletter

McIntyre, Donohue, Accardi, Salmonson & Riordan, LLP is happy to report our recent successful Workers' Compensation and Pension Disability cases representing New York City Correction Officers (NYC COBA) MDASR works closely with the NYC Correction Officers' Benevolent Association and its' Officers. We are proud to be featured in their April 2019 Newsletter. The attorneys at MDASR are committed to providing their expert experience to advocate for injured and disabled workers and receive the best possible outcome for our clients.

NYS Police Compensation Seminar Hosted by MDASR

McIntyre, Donohue, Accardi, Salmonson & Riordan, LLP was honored to host members of the NYS Police for an evening of networking, great food & drinks and an important and fundamental discussion. Partners Ed McIntyre, Sean Riordan and James Seganti spoke about compensation rights as NYS Law Enforcement in the event of an accident or injury on the job and the potential effects on their pensions.

Ed McIntyre, discussed the requirements for NYS Law Enforcement to qualify for workers’ compensation and how essential it is to know what you are entitled to when injured. He also discussed the potential for substantial workers compensation awards that injured Troopers often fail to pursue.  Ed spoke about the firm’s workers’ compensation attorneys and their expertise in the procedure when filing for coverage.

James Seganti spoke about the crucial need for World Trade Center First Responders to submit the WTC-12 Sworn Statement to meet the requirements for coverage in the event they seek workers’ compensation in the future. The deadline for this form is September 11, 2022, and is necessary in the event that you develop a disease or illness related to your time in rescue, recovery or cleanup.

Sean Riordan covered the current legal climate for what now qualifies as an accident on the job and how recent court decisions have turned disability pension litigation upside down. Retaining talented and knowledgeable attorneys is crucial in the outcome of the of your case and the total of your pension.

If you have been injured on the job contact our attorneys for a free claim evaluation at (866) 557-7500. Multiple conditions, work related or not, may in combination be enough to establish a successful claim.

Partner Sean Riordan Advocates for NY’s First Responders

Sean Riordan meets with Congressman Gregory Meeks and FDNY Ret. Chief Richard Alles to discuss the crucial issues our nation's first responders face daily.

MDASR partner Sean Riordan met with Congressman Gregory Meeks and FDNY Ret. Chief Richard Alles to discuss the crucial issues our nation's first responders face daily. Sean is an outspoken advocate for First Responders, having joined with advocacy groups such as the FealGood Foundation and Congressional leaders to help pass legislation that affords greater health care and benefits to men and women that respond to emergency situations.

MDASR Wins 9/11 Death Claim

The Law firm of McIntyre, Donohue, Accardi, Salmonson & Riordan LLP successfully argued and established causally related death as a result of toxic exposure from the tragic events of September 11, 2001. The claimant, a Local 40 electrician, selflessly chose to volunteer his services following the attacks on the World Trade Center. He spent two days volunteering and was instrumental in removal of steel beams and debris on the pile.

Even though the claimant was only at Ground Zero for two days, that exposure was enough to cause malignant melanoma which metastasized to his chest, abdomen, bones, adrenal glands, and lymph nodes. That exposure to the carcinogens at Ground Zero was proven to have significantly contributed to the development of  the claimant’s metastatic malignant melanoma and ultimately, his untimely death. As a result the surviving widow and children received a retroactive award of $155,000.00 as well continued lifetime benefits for the surviving widow.

Thank you to our late claimant and all of the other brave men and women who risked their lives, most giving the ultimate sacrifice, in the name of our country’s and city’s safety.

Written by Timothy Finnegan, Associate Attorney. 

Attorney Advertising. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

Amazon and Labor

In late Fall of 2018, after a nationwide bidding war with other large metropolitan cities, Ecommerce and tech giant Amazon decided to build its second North American headquarters in Long Island City, Queens.

In return for almost $3 billion in subsidies from the City, Amazon has promised a variety of things to give back to the surrounding communities. Among its promises are 25,000 new jobs, according to Curbed NY.

Amazon has a torrid history with regard to labor, and a number of New York unions have taken notice. In the company’s nearly 30 years of operation, they have avidly fought against unionization, even when there is record of employees fighting to do so. Citing poor working conditions, long hours, and poor work culture, a number of unions have teamed up to generate activism for Amazons workers. The Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Union along with Teamsters have come out in full force in the name of employee advocacy.

According to Crain’s New York Business, the two unions wrote of Amazon in a series of letters to the Governor and Mayor:

“The International Brotherhood of Teamsters has joined the battle over Amazon’s second headquarters. In letters to Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the truckers’ union has teamed up with the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union to highlight the Seattle giant’s “well-documented record of anti-worker, anti-union behavior” and “deadly and dehumanizing working conditions.” They are asking the elected leaders to “work with us to ensure that Amazon changes the way it operates.”

In response to the public response of Amazon coming into a union stronghold like New York, the company contractually agreed to use union labor for the construction end of their project, but according to the Daily News, both unions remain unconvinced that the company will change its ways:

“As a nod to New York’s still-strong labor movement, the company also agreed to use union workers to both build its new facility and help staff it and keep it maintained — but those terms don’t quite stand up to full scrutiny, according to the Teamsters and RWDSU.

The Building Trades Council’s deal to have union laborers construct the Long Island City headquarters is actually inked with third-party contractor — as is SEIU 32BJ’s contract for maintenance and other services.

Amazon itself remains untouched by a direct labor agreement as part of its deal, the Teamsters and RWDSU said.”

Links below:

Force labor-busting Amazon to change course: Their hostility to unions should be the last straw breaking the back of this rotten deal

Teamsters join fight against Amazon HQ2

AMAZON CAME TO THE BARGAINING TABLE—BUT WORKERS WANT MORE

Employees at Amazon’s New NYC Warehouse Launch Union Push

No union, no deal, NYC labor leaders tell Cuomo and de Blasio about Amazon’s new HQ

Amazon workers in New York just announced their plan to unionize

Workers’ Compensation and Natural Disasters

We have seen displays of heroism and community in the face of natural disasters and emergencies. Civilians, first responders, communities of every background band together to help one another. Our immediate reaction is to assist when disaster strikes. Some may get injured during such tasks, and one has to ask-what happens if that’s part of your job?

Many states have regulations in place addressing the needs of workers and laborers in regard to natural disasters or emergency situations. Many workers may sustain injuries due to rescue and recovery missions, whether or not they are a first responder or part of an emergency services team. Others may encounter hazardous working conditions while trying to rebuild. Some of these regulations involve the expedition of prescriptions, procedures, and benefits so claimants aren’t left without medicine or wages. Insurance companies are also developing methods to make care and benefits more accessible-according to an article on BusinessInsurance.com, Chubb Ltd. managed to reach out to 400 claimants prior to the wreckage sustained when Hurricane Florence hit the southern U.S. in 2018. OSHA also released a statement regarding employer and employee safety after Hurricane Michael, the strongest storm on record for the Florida Panhandle.

The best way for employers and employees alike to stay as safe as possible in an emergency situation is to not only communicate, but also adhere to the planned out EAP, or Emergency Action Plan. As an OSHA requirement, employers that have 10 or more employees are required to have an Emergency Action Plan. This is a formal list of steps and procedures to take during an emergency or natural disaster. These include things like assigned training and roles for employees during an emergency, a way to report and communicate the emergency, and other related requirements.

Florence and Work Comp

‘Plan Ahead’: OSHA Spotlights Resources for Emergency Preparedness, Response

What employers should know as Hurricane Florence approaches

Earth, Wind and Fire: Workers’ Compensation Considerations in the Face of Natural Disasters

Natural Disaster Recovery Efforts: What You Should Know About Workers Compensation Policies

Disaster Preparedness, Recovery and Employee Safety During Hurricane Season

Emergency Action Plan

UFT v. Janus

After the Janus decision came down in June of 2018, it seemed as if all of New York’s unions and labor advocates had mobilized. Governor Cuomo had submitted legislature to protect the power of unions into the 18/19 fiscal budget, which was put in place shortly before the Supreme Court Ruling. United Federation of Teachers (UFT) became one of the most active unions, and their efforts were not in vain. Fast forward to just over three months, and almost half of UFT’s new hires are full-dues paying members, according to an article on Crain’s. Many of New York’s labor leaders are speculating that UFT’s grassroots methods are the future of the labor movement in New York and across the country.

UFT did a great deal of recruiting to supplement the legislation provided by the City and State. In preparation for the ultimately definite Janus ruling, laws providing incentives for employees and power to union leaders were written into the budget. “The measure Cuomo signed in April, which was incorporated into state budget legislation, required public employers to promptly give unions contact information for all new hires and allow unions to speak to new hires during their first month on the job. It codified that workers may sign up to pay dues electronically”, according to an article posted on the Telegraph Herald.

This is due in a large part to organizing events, labor advocacy and most of all-open, clear information-UFT has managed to sign up a near majority of its new hires since the ruling came down. Having been granted the right to meet with new hires one-one-one, UFT’s Union Representatives had countless one-on-one conversations regarding benefits and union rights. They knew the needs of their employees and managed to approve paid parental leave a few short days before the Janus ruling.

The way in which unions organize, negotiate, and advocate for their members is unique to each union. Finding out and speaking to those needs is how UFT managed to start a positive ripple in a post-Janus work environment.

 

Labor Day 2018

Labor Day has its roots snared in the concrete of thousands of cities and in the hearts of countless communities. The holiday was established to champion the rights of the American worker, and to highlight the importance of improving the American work culture-wages, workers rights, labor laws, and working conditions. One cannot talk about the labor movement without talking about the employees who continue to carry on its legacy.

A day for the worker established by the worker, the first Labor Day Parade was held in New York City almost 130 years ago in 1882. This is nothing short of fitting, since New York has remained one of the most unionized states throughout history. In 1887, New York had officially recognized Labor Day as a holiday and 12 years after the first Parade, in 1894, President Grover Cleveland made it a national holiday. This was in response to the chaotic Pullman Strike, deemed as a catalyst in the labor movement. “It had started when the Pullman Palace Car Company lowered wages without lowering rents in the company town, also called Pullman.”, according to The New York Times. This elevated to a larger movement after railway unions decided to no longer work on Pullman cars, causing chaos throughout the transportation industry.

Fast forward 124 years, the labor movement is still thriving. This is due in large part to the voices unions give their employees through collective bargaining-which still, from time to time, culminates into strikes. The good that unions do for employees and the importance of the labor movement has not been lost in current events-even Janus v. AFSCME, a U.S. Supreme Court case overturning mandated union fees, has not slowed unions. When the verdict came down in spring of 2018, it made mandating union fees unconstitutional under the 1st amendment. It’s main plaintiff, Mark Janus, argued that due to the way that unions work-they are political in nature, as well as that he didn’t want union lobbying for political ideas he didn’t support.

These are the same dues that help with representation for grievance proceedings, collective bargaining, and other main functions of unions. While right-to-work proponents thought they would hit unions where it hurt, many unions actually saw a huge uptick in full-dues paying members-particularly unions for teachers.

Below are links to a number of articles summarizing the rich history of Labor Day. To all employees and laborers everywhere, thank you for your hard work!

The History of Labor Day

What to know about the history of celebrating Labor Day

History of Labor Day: Why it’s celebrated, how it started

Quinn Law Firm and MDASR, LLP. Announce “Of-Counsel” Partnership

Dear PBA President:

The Quinn Law Firm is pleased to announce the establishment of a work relationship with McIntyre, Donohue, Accardi, Salmonson & Riordan, LLP, (“MDASR”) in an “of-counsel” capacity, to offer our clients further representation in the fields of New York State Workers’ Compensation, New York State Disability Retirements and Social Security Disability.

Injuries suffered in the course of police duty are unfortunately commonplace. When injuries occur on the job the only way to properly protect your rights and benefits is through sound and comprehensive legal representation. MDASR has represented injured workers for over 65 years and knows exactly what steps need to be taken to ensure you receive proper medical treatment and just compensation. MDASR has a proud and extensive history of representing law enforcement officers and unions in disability claims throughout the state. MDASR understands the unique challenges police officers face daily and are devoted to applying that extensive knowledge and experience to the comprehensive and effective representation of your rights as a police officer.

MDASR’s partners are recognized throughout New York for their work in the disability field. Sean Riordan heads up the Disability Pension Department for MDASR. Sean is widely recognized as an expert in accidental disability retirement applications/claims under New York Retirement and Social Security Law § 363 (commonly referred to as “three-quarter claims”). He specializes in representing uniformed personnel in their actions against the New York State Retirement System, and has won several precedent-setting cases. Edward McIntyre, a former Sergeant with the Suffolk County Police Department, is an authority on workers’ compensation benefits and a leading advocate for officers’ disability rights. Richard Donohue, MDASR’s managing partner, heads up the Workers’ Compensation Department and is considered one of the foremost authorities on workers’ compensation matters.

In addition to the five (5) Senior Partners, MDASR has twelve (12) associate attorneys and over sixty (60) staff members dedicated to serving their clients. MDASR will be utilizing office space in our White Plains location, to effectively serve the Westchester and Rockland law-enforcement communities.

MDASR’s website is https://licomplaw.com. The main contact number is (631) 665-0609, and they also have an app that can be downloaded to your members’ smart phones. To access the app, go to the “App Store” on your mobile device and search “MDASR LAW”. The app will give your members access to a workers’ compensation or disability expert instantly. Jim Seganti (866-557-7500) will be the main point of contact for our Westchester and Rockland members.

We look forward to working with MDASR to bring our clients’ the best representation possible when faced with workers’ compensation and disability issues.

Should you have any questions about the additional services available to your organization and its membership, please do not hesitate to contact our office.

Very truly yours,

Andrew C. Quinn, Esq.

www.quinnlawny.com

SCOTUS rules in favor of Janus in Janus v. AFSCME

On June 27th, after months of deliberation, The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled in favor of Mark Janus in Janus v. AFSCME. The decision, which overturns the 1977 precedent set by Abood v. Detroit B.O.E., states that the fair-share fees once paid by non-union employees are a violation of their First Amendment rights.

The case began in February of this year. The lead plaintiff, Mark Janus, took issue with the possibility that he may not have agreed with his unions values and was still mandated to pay for them. Although the precedent set by Abood states that these fees cannot be used for any political or ideological purposes, Janus argued that collective bargaining and the basic operations of a union are political in nature. Union employees who are not dues-paying members will now reap union benefits at the expense of full-dues paying members. Because of this, unions fear a dramatic decrease in membership, since they are now required to represent all employees without the support of fair-share fees.

Proponents of Janus called this the protection of workers’ rights and free speech, while dozens of unions and worker advocates urged the importance of unions and the good they do for their employees and members. Opponents of Janus highlighted the voice that unions give the middle and working class due to the public influence that unions have. Many say the ruling will effectively destroy their public influence, and therefore the voice of the workers they employ. In an article from the Times Herald Online, one of the Court’s Justices spoke out: “In dissent, Justice Elena Kagan wrote of the big impact of the decision. “There is no sugarcoating today’s opinion. The majority overthrows a decision entrenched in this Nation’s law — and its economic life — for over 40 years. As a result, it prevents the American people, acting through their state and local officials, from making important choices about workplace governance. And it does so by weaponizing the First Amendment, in a way that unleashes judges, now and in the future, to intervene in economic and regulatory policy.”

A majority of U.S. states have banned fair-share fees long before Janus made waves. The 22 states that did not are union powerhouses. As District Council 37 Executive Director Harry Garrido put it, “Today’s decision is appallingly out of sync with both public sentiment and the difficult times now faced by working families”, in a statement on his union’s website. DC 37 is New York’s largest public union, and happens to be a chapter of AFSCME.

New York’s government officials have been staunch supporters of unions and organized labor, and now is no exception. A number of legislative bills added to the 2019 State budget were put in place as safeguards against Janus v. AFSCME, with the aim of narrowing certain services and levels of Union representation to dues-paying members only. Other bills provided further incentives-like making union benefits effective at time of hire and protected benefits during leave-rather than budget safeguards.

This directly effects most of our communities hardest working people-those of who keep our neighborhoods functioning.

Teachers, law enforcement, laborers, healthcare workers, and many more.

MDASR, LLP. stands in full support of New York’s public unions and the labor movement, and has for over 60 years.

Supreme Court deals big setback to labor unions

Read: the Supreme Court’s majority opinion in Janus v. AFSCME

Supreme Court rules against mandatory union dues in Janus v. AFSCME

Major Supreme Court Decision Will Affect Public Sector Employees, and Could Reach Private Sector Workers in the Future

Legislative bills to cushion potential Janus ruling