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Q. Will lay-off notices be withdrawn before April 14?
A. Lay-off notices will almost certainly be withdrawn next week.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
2. whether the state restores some or all Legal
Aid criminal defense funding by the end of the
Q. When would those layoff notices be withdrawn?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
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
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
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
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?
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
YEARS OF SERVICE CASH SEVERANCE HEALTH BENEFITS
<1 $3,150 6 months of paid health
benefits (you continue to
pay a contribution under
5-10 $7,650 the indemnity plan),
followed by an 18 month
option to maintain that
15-25 $11,700 coverage at your own
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.
Q. For how long am I entitled to recall if Staff Attorney positions later become
A. Eight months.
Q. Can the Society hire new attorneys during that period before offering it to
A. No. Laid-off atton1eys must be given the right of first refusal for such new
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
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. ~ ..- …