The Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board is an independent board made up of five full-time salaried members appointed by the Governor for terms of six years. Not more than three may belong to the same political party. One member is named by the Governor as chair. The Executive Director and the Chief Administrative Law Judge are also administrative officers of the Board.
The Board has two primary functions:
The Executive Director of the Appeal Board is the records access officer for all records. The mailing address isUnemployment Insurance Appeal Board
Requests for access to records should be directed to Susan Borenstein, Executive Director, at that address.
Leonard D. Polletta was appointed Chair of the Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board in June 2007. After graduating from the University of Connecticut in 1969 and Suffolk University Law School in Boston in 1973, he worked as a public defender in Massachusetts and later as Associate Counsel for the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America. In 1985, he became Assistant General Counsel for District Council 37, AFSCME, the municipal union representing over 125,000 public employees in the City of New York. Mr. Polletta is a current member of the New York State Bar Association, the American Bar Association and the New York City Bar Association. He is admitted to practice in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and New York, a number of U.S. District Courts and the U.S. Supreme Court. He has appeared on numerous panels and conferences, and published an article in AAA's Dispute Resolution Journal after the Supreme Court's decision in Wright v. Universal Maritime Service Corporation, entitled "What's Left After Wright? Do Employees Still Have Two Bites of the Apple?" advocating a more active role for unions fighting workplace discrimination. Mr. Polletta has taught both public and private sector Labor Law and Collective Bargaining courses and was an Adjunct Instructor at Cornell University School of Industrial & Labor Relations in New York City before his appointment.
Michael Twomey Greason was appointed to the Board in 2002 and reappointed in 2003 and 2006. He served as Chairman from July 2006 through July 2007. A native of New York City, Mr. Greason brings 20 years of government and management experience to the Board. He began his public career in law enforcement and has more recently served the public and non-profit sectors as an Assistant Manager of the Metropolitan Museum of Art; as Director of Communications for the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation of NYS; as Deputy Commissioner of Personnel for the City of Yonkers; and most recently, as the Deputy Commissioner of Human Rights for the State of New York. Mr. Greason is a graduate of the Richmond (VA) Sheriff's Academy and he received his Bachelor's and Master's degrees from the University of Richmond.
Geraldine A. Reilly was appointed to the Board in February, 2010. Ms. Reilly is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of Seton Hall University School of Law. She also has a MSILR degree issued jointly by Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations and Baruch College of the City University of New York. Her undergraduate degree is from Brooklyn College of CUNY. Immediately prior to her appointment, Ms. Reilly served as Chief of Staff and Counsel to Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan, Chair of the New York State Standing Committee on Education. She was Associate Counsel for Labor during Assemblywoman Nolan’s tenure as Chair of that standing committee. She also worked as Counsel when the Assemblywoman chaired the Assembly’s Standing Committee on Banks. She has extensive history working in the field of labor relations and labor law in the public sector and private sector, as well as the railroad industry. Working at the direction of lawmakers, she has crafted several important statutory amendments to the state labor law, unemployment law, workers compensation law and education law.
After earning his Bachelor's degree at the University of Vermont, George Friedman was awarded a scholarship based on academic excellence to study law at the New York University School of Law, where he served on the law review. He became involved in local politics in his home county of Bronx. In December, 1986 he was elected by the Executive Committee of the Bronx Democratic County Committee as its Chairperson. Wearing the mantle of Bronx Democratic Leader permitted him to play an important role in every election for the next eight years. After serving for 12 years on the New York State Assembly staff, he rose to the position of Chief Counsel to the Democratic Majority of the Assembly Committee on Ways and Means. He was then elected to the Assembly and served as a member of that body for 18 years. He was next elected to serve as a Justice of the Supreme Court from January 1, 1995 until his retirement from the Judicial Bench in January, 2002. He was then appointed as a commissioner of the New York State Commission of Investigation, where he served until April, 2009. In 2010 Governor Paterson appointed Judge Friedman to a six-year term as a member of the Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board. His training as a state legislator for 18 years and his service as a Supreme Court Justice make him eminently well qualified for this honor.