ALAA Roots — An Unofficial Site

April 7, 1995

1995.04.07: Questions and Answers About CAB/CDD Staff Attorney Layoffs

1995.04.07- Questions and answers about CAB-CDD staff attorney layoffs (ALAA) — OCR

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ABOUT

CAB/CDD STAFF ATTORNEY LAYOFFS

APRIL 7, 1995

Q. Will lay-off notices be withdrawn before April 14?

A. Lay-off notices will almost certainly be withdrawn next week. How many

withdrawals depends on:

1. how many Staff Attorneys sign up for buy-outs by the

specified deadline (probably the end of business on

Tuesday); and/or

2. whether the state restores some or all Legal

Aid criminal defense funding by the end of the

week.

Q. When would those layoff notices be withdrawn?

A. Given state funding uncertainties, probably not until the end of next week.

Q. What if state funding is restored after April14?

A. At least some Staff Atton1eys would be recalled, depending on the amount of

money that is restored.

Q. What happens if there isn’t enough money to retain or recall all laid-off

attorneys?

A. Pursuant to our collective bargaining agreement, the Society must first retain or

recall members of the Fall1994 class. If there isn’t enough money to retain or

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recall the entire class, the Society will choose individuals from that class based

on merit. The same criteria would apply if, after retaining or recalling everyone

in the Fall 1994 class, money is available to retain or recall some, but not all, of

the returned supervisors.

Q. How is “merit” defined?

A. The collective bargaining agreement mentions only “affirmative action

considerations” as a specific element of “merit.” Management, however, has

voiced agreement with ALAA’ s recently-stated view that other “merit” elements

should not include such potentially misleading criteria as the number of times an

attorney has gone to trial, or whether she failed her first effort to pass the bar

exam.

Q. How will I be notified if I am retained or recalled?

A. The Society will contact you by letter, and possibly telephone. ALAA will make

every effort of its own to immediately contact those affected. To expedite

notification, be sure that both Legal Aid and ALAA have your current address

and phone number.

Q. What unemployment benefits am I entitled to?

A. Government agencies report that laid-off employees are eligible for benefits of

approximately half of their weekly gross earnings up to a maximum of

$300/week, for up to 26 weeks. Individual benefits depend on your total

earnings over the past 52 weeks.

Q. When can I first file for unemployment benefits?

A. You can file in the first week during which you have not have worked 3 days or

earned more than $300.

Q. How do I apply for unemployment benefits?

A. Go to the NYS Labor Department nearest your home or office (listed in the Blue

Pages). Offices are open Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m (Mondays are

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busiest). Bring your social security card, photo ID and Legal Aid pay stubs.

Q. Will I be paid for unused comp days?

A. Yes, except for the first five days you earned after October 1, 1994.

Q. Will I be paid for accumulated vacation days?

A. Yes.

Q. When will laid-off attorneys be paid for comp, vacation accrual and

outstanding reimbursement requests?

A. Hopefully during the week of April 28.

Q. What severance benefits am I entitled to?

A. All Legal Aid staff being laid-off or bought-out will receive the following

severance:

YEARS OF SERVICE CASH SEVERANCE HEALTH BENEFITS

<1 $3,150 6 months of paid health

1-5 $6,750

benefits (you continue to

pay a contribution under

5-10 $7,650 the indemnity plan),

10-15 $9,000

followed by an 18 month

option to maintain that

15-25 $11,700 coverage at your own

25+ $13,500

expense.

Q. How will cash severance be paid out?

A. You will receive severance in the form of a regular bi-weekly paycheck, rather

than as a lump-sum payment.

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Q. For how long am I entitled to recall if Staff Attorney positions later become

available?

A. Eight months.

Q. Can the Society hire new attorneys during that period before offering it to

me?

A. No. Laid-off atton1eys must be given the right of first refusal for such new

positions.

Q. Do laid-off attorneys ltave to vacate their offices by April14?

A. No. Management has indicated that attorneys will be allowed to remain in their

offices at least until the status of state funding is clarified.

Q. What assistance is available to laid-off attorneys other than unemployment

benefits?

A. ALAA’ s Hardship Fund may be able to provide very limited assistance in cases

of extreme, proven financial hardship .

Note: Please contact ALAA for further information. ~ ..-

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