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Title 3 Administration

Section 530
Industrial commissioner's powers
Section 531
Regularization of Employment
Section 532
Employment districts and offices
Section 533
State advisory council
Section 534
Appeal board
Section 535
Referees
Section 536
Collaboration with other states, the United States and foreign governments
Section 537
Disclosures prohibited
Section 538
Attorney and witness fees and other expenses
Section 539
Acquisition of land and buildings
Section 540
Informational leaflet about the food stamp program

Sec. 530. Industrial commissioner's powers.

1. General powers. The commissioner shall administer this article and for such purpose he shall have power to make all rules and regulations and, subject to the regulations of the civil service, to appoint such officers and employees as may be necessary in the administration of this article.

Subd. 1 as amended by L. 1954, Ch. 99 effective March 26, 1974.

2. Powers and duties in respect to the national employment service. The state of New York accepts the provisions of an act of the congress of the United States effective June sixth, nineteen hundred thirty-three, entitled "An act to provide for the establishment of a national employment system and for cooperation with the states in the promotion of such system, and for other purposes." Such act is in this article otherwise referred to as "Wagner-Peyser Act". The commissioner is hereby designated as the agent of the state as required by such act of congress and as such agent is hereby authorized, empowered and directed to cooperate with the United States employment service under and pursuant to the terms, conditions, provisions and requirements of such act and he shall have and exercise all powers necessary therefor. The commissioner is hereby further authorized, empowered and directed to take such steps and to formulate such plans and to execute such projects as may be necessary or appropriate to obtain for and on behalf of the state the full benefits, advantages and privileges derivable under and pursuant to such act of congress.

3. Acceptance of moneys. The commissioner is authorized to accept moneys to be used in carrying out any of the purposes of this article.

Subd. 3 as amended by L. 1981, Ch. 405, effective July 7, 1981

4. Claims for damages to personal property. The commissioner is authorized to approve, for payment out of the unemployment administration fund, notwithstanding any inconsistent provision of the court of claims act, any claim for damage to personal property made by an employee of the department whose salary is paid out of that fund resulting from the deliberate act of any claimant for benefits, applicant for placement, employer, or other person acting on behalf of a claimant, applicant, or employer arising out of official business of the department. Payment of such claim shall be limited to the sum of one hundred fifty dollars and shall be subject to the prior approval of the comptroller and the attorney general.

Subd. 4 as amended by L. 1974, Ch. 99, effective March 26, 1974.

Sec. 531. Regularization of employment.

One of the purposes of this article is to promote the regularization of employment in enterprises, industries, localities, and the state. The commissioner shall take such steps as are within his means for the reduction and prevention of unemployment and to promote the reemployment of all unemployed workers. To this end the commissioner may employ experts and may carry on and publish the results of any investigations and research which he deems relevant, whether or not directly related to the other purposes and specific provisions of this article. Also to this end, the commissioner shall undertake investigations of technological developments in industry in order to obtain information necessary for evaluating the effects of such developments on the geographical, industrial, and occupational employment patterns of the state. The commissioner shall also undertake investigations of occupational training needs of workers unemployed because of technological developments, the availability of facilities for this purpose, and ways and means for establishing required facilities where this step is needed, and shall co-operate to this end with appropriate education authorities. The commissioner shall bring the findings of such investigations to the attention of education authorities, labor organizations, employers and other appropriate bodies, public and private, in order that educational and training efforts shall be appropriate to the changing occupational needs of industry and shall be channeled in the direction of expanding occupational opportunities for the labor force. The commissioner shall also utilize such findings in connection with his responsibilities for the development and encouragement of, and recruitment for, apprenticeship training activities. The commissioner shall by these and other appropriate means assist labor and management in the development of higher occupational skills commensurate with the changing requirements of industry in the state.

§531 as amended by L. 1959, Ch. 314, effective April 13, 1959.

Sec. 532. Employment districts and offices.

1. Establishment and maintenance. The commissioner may divide the state into such number of employment districts as he finds necessary to carry out the provisions of this article and maintain a district office in each of said districts. The commissioner shall establish such number of local employment offices as he finds necessary, which offices, in addition to the other duties prescribed herein and by the commissioner, shall act as free public employment exchanges.

Such exchanges shall provide and maintain special services for unskilled workers and public assistance recipients, which services shall include but not be limited to: maintenance of current registers of all opportunities for employment in which such workers and recipients would be able to engage which are brought to the attention of such exchanges; special activities to seek out and develop employment opportunities for such workers and recipients; employment preparation services; and continued counseling before and after referral of such workers and recipients to employment opportunities.

2. Cooperation with other agencies. The commissioner is authorized to cooperate with or to enter into agreements with the federal railroad retirement board or any other agency of the United States charged with the administration of an unemployment compensation law, with any political subdivision of this state, or with any private non-profit organization, with respect to the establishment, maintenance, and use of free employment service facilities and free public employment offices, and as a part of any such agreement the commissioner may accept moneys, services, or quarters as a contribution to the special "employment service account" in the unemployment administration fund.

§532 as amended by L. 1971, Ch. 946 effective July 1, 1971.

Sec. 533. State advisory council.

1. Membership. The state advisory council on employment and unemployment insurance appointed by the governor shall be continued. It shall consist of five members composed of men and women. Two of the appointees to this council shall be persons who, on account of their previous vocations, employments, or affiliations, can be classed as representatives of employers; two appointees shall be persons who, on account of their previous vocations, employments, or affiliations, can be classed as representatives of employees; and one appointee shall be a person representative of the public. Members of such council shall be appointed for terms of six years. Vacancies shall be filled by appointment by the governor for the unexpired term. The governor at any time may remove a member of the state advisory council for inefficiency, neglect of duty, malfeasance, misfeasance, or nonfeasance in office. The members of the state advisory council shall not receive a salary or other compensation, but shall be reimbursed for actual and necessary traveling and other incidental expenses, which expenses shall be disbursed from the unemployment administration fund as a charge upon it.

Subd. 1 as amended by L. 1962, Ch. 259, effective March 30, 1962; further amended by
L. 1992, Ch. 55, effective April 10, 1992.

2. Functions. The commissioner shall, insofar as practicable, consult the council on all matters of major policies and procedures involved in or connected with the administration of this article, and he shall inform the council of the action taken in connection with such matters. The council shall consider and shall advise the commissioner upon all matters connected with this article submitted to it by the commissioner and may recommend upon its own initiative such changes in the administration of this article as it deems necessary. It shall have full investigatory powers and shall have direct access to all sources of information. The council shall report each year on or before February first to the governor and to the legislature.

3. Employees. The advisory council may select and nominate an executive secretary and a research assistant to aid the council in the performance of its functions, and the commissioner shall appoint the persons so nominated. If the council so recommends, such employees shall be appointed in the exempt class of the civil service, and they shall be removed and replaced by the commissioner at the request of the council. Said employees shall receive such compensation as may be fixed by the council and shall be allowed actual and necessary traveling and other incidental expenses incurred while engaged in the performance of their duties. The compensation of such employees and the amounts allowed them for traveling and other incidental expenses shall be deemed part of the expenses incurred in connection with the administration of this article and shall be disbursed from the unemployment administration fund as a charge upon it.

Sec. 534. Appeal board.

The appeal board is hereby continued. Such board shall consist of five salaried members, not more than three of whom shall be adherents of the same political party. One of the members of the board shall be designated as chairman by the governor. The governor shall appoint or reappoint members for terms of six years. Vacancies shall be filled by appointment by the governor for the unexpired term. A member of the board may be removed by the governor for cause, after a hearing.

Any hearing, inquiry, or investigation required or authorized to be conducted or made by the board may be conducted or made by any individual member thereof, and the order, decision, or determination of such member shall be deemed the order, decision, or determination of the board from the date of filing thereof in the department, unless the board on its own motion or on application duly made to it modify or rescind such order, decision, or determination.

The board shall establish and maintain a current index, by topic, of the principles of law established by the decisions rendered by the board and the courts concerning matters arising under this article. Such index shall cite all appropriate authority which supports such principles and, where appropriate, all conflicting authority. Such index shall also contain a glossary of technical and statutory terms commonly used by the board in its decisions. Copies of such index shall be open for public inspection and examination, and shall be made available at all locations where unemployment insurance hearings, authorized or mandated by section six hundred twenty of this chapter, are conducted.

§534 as amended by L. 1958, Ch. 977, effective April 23, 1958; further amended by
L. 1982, Ch. 662, effective January 1, 1983.

Sec. 535. Referees.

The commissioner shall appoint, subject to the regulations of the civil service, as many persons as may be necessary to be referees to perform the duties prescribed by this article. It shall be the duty of a referee, under the supervision, direction, and administrative control of the appeal board, to hear and decide disputes in accordance with the provisions of this article and to conduct such other and further hearings in connection with the foregoing as may be required by the board.

Sec. 536. Collaboration with other states, the United States, and foreign governments.

1. Cooperation. The commissioner may afford reasonable cooperation with every agency of the United States charged with the administration of any unemployment compensation law.

2. Agreements. (a) The commissioner is authorized to enter into agreements with the appropriate agencies of other states or the United States whereby rights to benefits accumulated under the unemployment compensation laws of the several states or of the United States, or both, may constitute the basis for the payment of benefits under terms which the commissioner finds will be fair and reasonable as to all affected interests and will not result in any substantial loss to the fund.

(b) (1) The commissioner is authorized to enter into arrangements with the appropriate agencies of other states or of the United States (i) whereby remuneration or services, upon the basis of which an individual may become entitled to unemployment benefits under the unemployment compensation law of another state or of the United States shall be deemed to be remuneration and weeks of employment for the purposes of this article, provided such other agency has agreed to reimburse the unemployment insurance fund for such portion of benefits paid under this article upon the basis of such remuneration or services as the commissioner finds will be fair and reasonable as to all affected interests, and (ii) whereby the commissioner will reimburse such agencies with such reasonable portion of unemployment benefits, paid under the laws of any such other states or of the United States upon the basis of employment or remuneration paid by employers for employment, as the commissioner finds will be fair and reasonable as to all affected interests. Reimbursements so payable shall be deemed benefits for the purpose of this article. The commissioner is hereby authorized to make reimbursements from the fund to such agencies and to receive from them reimbursements to the fund, in accordance with arrangements pursuant to this section.
(2) The commissioner shall participate in any arrangements for the payment of benefits on the basis of combining a claimant`s remuneration and services covered under this article with those covered under the laws of other states which are approved by the secretary of labor of the United States as provided in the federal unemployment tax act. The terms of any such arrangements shall be deemed to comply with the foregoing provisions of this paragraph.

Paragraph (b) as amended by L. 1954, Ch. 777, effective April 17, 1954; further amended by
L. 1971, Ch. 607, effective January 1, 1972.

(c) The commissioner is authorized to enter into reciprocal agreements with the appropriate agencies of other states in regard to services on vessels engaged in interstate or foreign commerce whereby such services for a single employer, wherever performed, shall be deemed performed within this state or within any such other state.

(d) The commissioner is authorized to enter into reciprocal agreements with appropriate agencies of other states or of the United States, under terms which he finds will be fair and reasonable as to all affected interests, (1) whereby employer contributions erroneously paid to this state, or such other states or the United States because of the bona fide belief that all or some of the employees were covered under the unemployment insurance laws of this state, or of such other states or of the United States, may be repaid or transferred to the unemployment insurance fund of that state or of the United States under whose law such contributions were actually due, (2) whereby such contributions upon repayment or transfer to the unemployment insurance fund shall be deemed to have been paid as of the dates payments thereof were made to the transferring agency, (3) permitting such repayments or transfers by this state without regard to the time limitations governing refund of contributions contained in section five hundred seventy, subdivision five. Such agreements may also provide for the reimbursement to the unemployment insurance fund of the transferring agency of all benefits which were paid on the basis of employment for which the contributions transferred were paid in error. Any such reimbursement of benefits by this state in accordance herewith shall be deemed benefits paid for the purposes of and pursuant to the provisions of this article as of the dates of payment of such benefits by the transferring agency.

Paragraph (d) as added by L. 1957, Ch. 905, effective April 24, 1957.

Paragraph (e) repealed by L. 1960, Ch. 37, effective February 16, 1960.

3. Investigations and information. The commissioner is empowered to make investigations and secure information as requested by the agency of any state, of the federal government, or of any foreign government charged with the administration of any unemployment compensation law or any public employment service law as he deems necessary or appropriate to facilitate the administration of such law by such agency and may, notwithstanding the provisions of section five hundred thirty-seven of this article, transmit the results of such investigations and such information to such agency. For this purpose, the commissioner is empowered to make available services and facilities and to exercise the other powers provided in this article with respect to the administration thereof. The commissioner is further empowered to request any such agency, or the officers or employees of any such agency, to undertake on his behalf any investigation and to secure information needed in the administration of this article and to accept and utilize information, services, and facilities made available to this state by any such agency.

4. Manpower training. The commissioner is hereby authorized to participate in the federal manpower development and training act of nineteen hundred sixty-two as amended and may approve for expenditure from available funds such sums as may be required to enable the state to carry out the purposes of such act.

Subd. 4 as added by L. 1964, Ch. 426, effective July 1, 1964.

Sec. 537. Disclosures prohibited.

1. a. Unemployment insurance information.

(i) Unemployment insurance information is information contained in the records of the department pertaining to the administration of this article, including information obtained by the department from employers and employees pursuant to this article. The term includes wage reporting information obtained by the department from the state department of taxation and finance pursuant to subdivision four of section one hundred seventy-one-a and paragraph four of subsection (a) of section six hundred seventy-four of the tax law. It further includes information in the state directory of new hires that has been disclosed to the department for use in the unemployment insurance program. Such information does not include the personnel or general fiscal information of the department or information in the public domain.

(ii) For purposes of this paragraph, the term public domain means: (A) information about the department and the unemployment insurance appeal board (B) information about applicable state and federal law, rules and regulations pertaining to unemployment insurance, including interpretations thereof and statements of general policy and interpretations of general applicability but excluding investigative manuals and procedures pertaining to unemployment insurance; and (C) any agreements relating to the administration of this article. Notwithstanding the foregoing, nothing in this subdivision shall be construed to limit, restrict, or abrogate the department's right to deny access to any records pursuant to the provisions of the public officers law.

(b) Use of unemployment insurance information. Unemployment insurance information shall be for the exclusive use and information of the commissioner in the discharge of his or her duties under this chapter and shall not be open to the public nor be used in any court in any action or proceeding pending therein unless the commissioner is a party to such action or proceeding, or such action or proceeding involves information provided pursuant to paragraph g of subdivision three of this section, notwithstanding any other provisions of law. Such information insofar as it is material to the making and determination of a claim for benefits or to adjudicating a claim for benefits shall be available to the parties affected and, in the commissioner`s discretion, may be made available to the parties affected in connection with effecting placement.

(c) Disclosure of unemployment insurance information to an individual or employer. (i) The department may disclose unemployment insurance information about an individual to such individual or unemployment insurance information about an employer to such employer. As a condition to making such disclosure, the department shall require a written authorization to disclose such information from the individual or employer in a form acceptable to the department together with such proof of identity or authorization to act on behalf of the individual or employer as the commissioner shall deem appropriate. Notwithstanding the foregoing, except as may otherwise be authorized under paragraph b of this subdivision, this paragraph shall not be construed to authorize the department to disclose information acquired from an employer under this article to an individual or information acquired from an employee under this article to an employer.

(ii) Nothing in this subdivision shall be construed to prohibit the disclosure of the wage reporting information obtained by the department from the department of taxation and finance pursuant to subdivision four of section one hundred seventy-one-a and paragraph four of subsection (a) of section six hundred seventy-four of the tax law pertaining to an individual to such individual or pertaining to an employer to such employer.

(d) Disclosure upon informed consent. (i) The department may disclose unemployment insurance information about an individual or an employer to an agent of such individual or employer , or to a third party, on the basis of informed consent received from such individual or employer. An informed consent from an individual shall not be construed to authorize the department todisclose information acquired from an employer under this article to an agent or third party identified in an individual's informed consent nor to authorize the department to disclose information acquired from an individual under this articleto the agent or third party identified in the employer's informed consent. Nothing in this subdivision shallbe construed to prohibit the disclosure of the wage reporting information obtained by the department from the department of taxation and finance pursuant to subdivision four of section one hundred seventy-one-a and paragraph four of subsection (a) of section six hundred seventy-four of the tax law pertaining to an individual to the agent or third party identified in the individual's informed consent or pertaining to an employer to the agent or third party identified in the employer's consent.

(ii) Informed consent shall consist of a written release from the individual or employer to whom the information pertains. Where a written releaseis impossible or impracticable to obtain, the department may accept an informed consent from a representative acceptable to the department, including but not limited to a conservator, guardian, or executor or administrator of a decedent's estate, together with such documentation as the departmentdeems necessary, including but not limited to orders of appointment or letters of administration, to establish the right of the representative to act on the individual's behalf.

An informed consent must include a statement:

  • (A) specifically identifying the information that is to be disclosed;
  • (B) acknowledging that department files will be accessed to obtain the information;
  • (C) identifying the specific purpose or purposes for which the information is sought, subject to the limitations on such purpose or purposes set forth in subparagraph (iii) of this paragraph, and indicating that information obtained under the release will only be used for that purpose or purposes; and
  • (D) identifying all the parties who may receive the information disclosed pursuant to the consent.

 

(iii) The purpose specified in the release must be limited to providing a service or benefit to the individual signing the release that such individual expects to receive as a result of signing the release or for the purpose of carrying out administration or evaluation of a public program to which the release pertains.

(e) Funding for disclosure of requested unemployment insurance information. Except as permitted under applicable federal law or regulation, or as otherwise authorized by agreement between the department and the United States Department of Labor, federal unemployment insurance grant funds shall not be used to pay for any of the costs incurred by the department in processing and handling a request for disclosure of unemployment information made under this article.

2. Violations of the confidentiality provisions of this section. Any person, who, without authority of the commissioner or as otherwise required by law, shall discloseinformation in violation of the confidentiality provisions of this section, upon conviction, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

3. Exceptions. The commissioner may, however, disclose the information described in subdivisions one and fourof this section under the following circumstances:

(a) Federal law. The commissioner shall report fully and completely to the appropriate agency of the United States on the effect and administration of this article in the manner prescribed by such agency, and further he or she shall make informationavailable, upon request, to any federal, state or localagency entitled to such information under the social security act or any other federal law in the manner prescribed by such federal law or its implementing regulations.

(b) Chief administrator of the courts; commissioners of jurors; county clerks. The commissioner shall provide lists of the names of persons receiving unemployment insurance benefits to the chief administrator of the courts, appointed pursuant to section two hundred ten of the judiciary law. The lists shall be provided for the sole purpose of integration into lists of prospective jurors as provided by section five hundred six of the judiciary law. The chief administrator of the courts shall upon request provide information from the lists to the commissioner of jurors in each county or, in a county within a city having a population of one million or more, the county clerk of said county, solely for the purpose of compiling lists of prospective jurors for the appropriate county. The lists of persons receiving unemployment insurance benefits shall be provided only pursuant to a cooperative agreement between the chief administrator of the courts and the commissioner that is consistent with all federal regulations or requirements governing such disclosures and guarantees that all necessary steps shall be taken by the chief administrator of the courts, the commissioners of jurors and the county clerks to insure that the lists are kept confidential and that there is no unauthorized use or disclosure of such lists. Furthermore, the lists will be provided only if the chief administrator of the courts determines that the lists are needed for integration into lists of prospective jurors in one or more counties.

(c) Nothing herein shall be construed to prohibit the delivery of unemployment benefit information contained in the department's records to the secretary of health and human services of the United States or the state agency responsible for collecting such information, in accordance with regulations promulgated by such secretary, as necessary for the purposes of the national directory of new hires as established under section four hundred fifty-three A of the social security act, as added by section three hundred thirteen of the personal responsibility and work opportunity reconciliation act of 1996, P.L. 104-193.

(d) (i) Nothing herein shall be construed to prohibit the disclosure quarterly, to the secretary of health and human services of the United States or the state agency responsible for collecting such information, claim information contained in the department's records, as required by section four hundred fifty-three A of the social security act (establishing the national directory) as amended by section three hundred thirteen of the personal responsibility and work opportunity reconciliation act of 1996, P.L. 104-193. Such claim information is to be used only for the purposes of section four hundred fifty-three A of the social security act in carrying out child support enforcement programs. Costs of furnishing such claim information shall be reimbursed consistent with federal law and regulations.

(ii) For the purposes of this paragraph the term "claim information" means information regarding whether an individual is receiving, has received, or has made application for unemployment insurance benefits, the amount of such benefits being received or to be received and the individual's most recent address contained in the department's records.

(e) Nothing herein shall be construed to prohibit the disclosure of claim information as defined in subparagraph (ii) of paragraph d of this subdivision to the "state directory of new hires," as established under section one hundred seventy-one-h of the tax law as amended, and to the state office of temporary and disability assistancefor disseminating to support collection units designed by social services districts or their duly authorized agents for all purposes designated by the personal responsibility and worker opportunity reconciliation act of 1996, public law 104-193. The cost of providing such claim information shall be reimbursed consistent with federal law and regulations.

(f) United States census bureau. Upon request to the commissioner, such information may be disclosed to the United States census bureau for statistical analyses related to population and employment measurements and trends. The confidentiality of such information shall be protected by subdivisions one and two of this section and title thirteen of the United States Code and subject to the terms of a written agreement between the United States census bureau and the commissioner.

(g) Federal, state and local agencies. (i) Upon request to the commisioner, such information may be disclosed to certain federal, state and local agencies. The commissioner may require written agreements with requesting agencies in a form determined by the commissioner and consistent with CFR 603 and other federal regulations. The information that may be disclosed pursuant to this paragraph shall be disclosed only after the requesting agency has demonstrated, to the commissoner's satisfaction, that the information shall be kept confidential, except for those purposes for which it was provided to the requesting agency, and that the requesting agency has security safeguards in place to prevent the unauthorized disclosure of such information.

(ii) The information disclosed pursuant to this paragraph may be disclosed to the following agencies to be used exclusively for the following legitimate governmental purposes:

(1) any federal, state or local agency in the investigation of fraud relating to public programs, or misuse of public funds;

(2) any state or United States territorial workforce agency, local workforce investment board and its agents, and one-stop operating partner receiving funds under the workforce investment act of 1998 for program performance purposes and other legitimate programmatic purposes authorized by the commissioner;

(3) the United States department of labor or its agents, as required by law, or in connection with the requirements imposed as a result of receiving federal administrative funding;

(4) state and local economic development agencies, or their agents, where such information is necessary to carry out the statutory functions of such agencies, shall receive a quarterly census of employment and wage information compiled by the department, provided that such disclosure shall not violate federal law. Any redisclosure of information obtained by such agencies under this clause shall be limited to tabulation and publication of such information in an aggregated statistical form. No individual identifying information obtained pursuant to this clause shall be redisclosed in the course of the tabulation or publication. As used in this clause, the term "aggregated statistical form" shall mean, in the case of information regarding individuals, a data set that includes information about not fewer than ten individuals, and, in the case of employer information, a data set that includes information about no fewer than three employers, of which no one employer comprises more than eighty percent of the aggregated data set; and

(5) the workers' compensation board, the state insurance fund and the state insurance department, for purposes of determining compliance with the coverage of workers' compensation and disability insurance and to the workers' compensation board for purposes of determining eligibility for workers' compensation benefits.

(6) any federal, state, or local law enforcement agency in accordance with a proper judicial order or grand jury subpoena served upon the department.

(7) the office of temporary and disability assistance, or local social services districts, for purposes of establishing or verifying the income and eligibility of applicants for, or recipients of, benefits under state public assistance programs for such benefits. Information obtained by the office of temporary and disability assistance under this clause shall not be disclosed, except to local social services districts for purposes of establishing or verifying the income and eligibility of applicants for, or recipients of, benefits under state public assistance programs.

(8) the office of vocational and educational services for individuals with disabilities of the education department for the evaluation of the effect on earnings of participants, or former participants, in employment and training programs for which the office of vocational and educational services for individuals with disabilities of the education department has reporting, monitoring or evaluating responsibilities.

(9) the commission for the blind and visually handicapped for the evaluation of the effect on earnings of participants, or former participants, in employment and training programs for which the commission for the blind and visually handicapped has reporting, monitoring or evaluating responsibilities.

h. Department contractors, subcontractors, or agents. The department may disclose unemployment insurance information to its contractors, subcontractors, or agents as the commissioner deems necessary to carry out the statutory functions of the department. Such disclosure shall be consistent with the authorized purposes described in subdivision four of this section and all applicable federal regulations, guidelines and policies.

Subd. 3 as amended by L. 1994, Ch. 442, effective July 20, 1994.

Paragraphs (c), (d), and (e) as added by L. 1997, Ch. 398, effective October 1, 1997.

Subd. 1 as amended by L. 2007, Ch. 346, effective March 3, 2007.

Paragraph (g) as added by L. 2007, Ch. 442 effective March 3, 2007.

Subd. 3 as amended by L. 2008, Ch. 6 442effective September 4, 2008.

Paragraphs (6), (7), (8), (9), and (h) as added by L. Ch. 6, effective September 4, 2008.

4. Wage reporting information obtained by the department from the state department of taxation and finance pursuant to subdivision four of section one hundred seventy-one-a of the tax law, as added by chaper five hundred forty-five of the laws of nineteen hundred seventy-eight, and information obtained or derivedfrom quarterly combined withholding, wage reporting and unemployment insurance returns required to be filed by employers pursuant to paragraph four of subsection (a) of section six hundred seventy-four of the tax lawshall be considered confidential and shall be usedfor the administration of the unemployment insurance program, employment services program, federal and state employment and training programs, employment statistics and labor market information programs, employer services program, worker protection programs, federal programs for which the department has administrative responsibility or for other purposes deemed appropriate by the commissioner under this chapter. Such information shallnot be disclosed to persons or agencies other than those considered entitled to such information under the social security act or other federal law, or as provided in subdivision three of this section or when such disclosure is necessary for the proper administration of the department's unemployment insurance program, employment services program, employment and training programs, worker protection programs, federal programs for which the department has administrative responsibility or for other purposes deemed appropriate by the commissioner under this chapter. Any reports concerning employmentand training programs submitted to a state or federal agency shall also be submitted to the governor, the temporary president of the senate, the speaker of the assembly and the chairs of the labor committees in the senate and the assembly.

Subd. 4 as added by L. 1978, Ch. 545 effective July 24, 1978; extended by L. 1981,
Ch. 45, effective April 1, 1981; amended by L. 1995, Ch. 302, effective July 26, 1995.

Subd. 4 as amended by L. 2007, Ch. 724 effective March 3, 2007.

5. Withholding tax information obtained by the department from the state department of taxation and finance pursuant to subsection (1) of section six hundred ninety-seven of the tax law shall be confidential and shall not be disclosed or redisclosed by any person or agency except in accordance with the provisions of subsections (e) and (l) of section six hundred ninety-seven of such law. When used for the purpose of evaluating monitoring or reporting on the department`s employment security and training programs, access to such information shall be limited to that which concerns individuals who applied to or participated in such programs.

Subd. 5 as added by L. 1995, Ch. 302, effective July 26, 1995.

Subd. 6 as added by L. 1995, Ch. 302 effective July 26, 1995; amended by L. 1997,
Ch. 436 effective August 20, 1997 and L. 1997, Ch. 398, effective October 1, 1997.
Repealed by L. 1998, Ch. 589, effective April 1, 1999.

7. The department shall notify all applicants to, and participants in, employment security and training programs for which the department has reporting, monitoring or evaluating responsibilities that information obtained from the department of taxation and finance may be used to evaluate program effectiveness of up to ten years after such application or participation, whichever is later.

Subd. 7 as added by L. 1995, Ch. 302, effective July 26, 1995.

§537 as amended by L. 1948, Ch. 346, effective March 21, 1948.

Sec. 538. Representation and witness fees and other expenses.

1. Fees and compensation of representatives.

(a) No fee shall be charged in any proceeding under this article by the commissioner, by the appeal board or by any court.

(b) In any proceeding under this article a party may be represented by an agent, but no fees for services rendered by such agent shall be allowable unless such agent is registered with the appeal board or is an attorney.

(c) Claims of representatives for services rendered to a claimant in connection with any claim arising under this article shall not be enforceable unless approved by the appeal board and shall in no event exceed the benefit allowed, except as provided in paragraph (d) of this subdivision. In approving any fee requested by a representative pursuant to this section, the appeal board shall consider the following factors: (i) the total benefit allowed; (ii) the time spent in providing representation; (iii) the legal and factual complexities involved; and (iv) such other factors as the appeal board may deem relevant.

(d) In addition to any fee which may be allowed by the appeal board for services rendered to the claimant, an attorney representing a claimant shall be entitled to a fee not to exceed the sum of five hundred dollars and necessary printing and other disbursements in each of the following cases: (1) On an appeal from a decision of the appeal board in favor of the claimant. (2) On a motion for leave to appeal to the court of appeals from a decision of the appellate division of the supreme court which relates to a decision of the appeal board in favor of the claimant. (3) On an appeal to the court of appeals from a decision of the appellate division of the supreme court which relates to a decision of the appeal board in favor of the claimant. When a claimant takes such appeal, the court shall allow a fee and disbursements only if it finds the appeal to have been meritorious.

(e) The court shall appoint an attorney to represent the claimant if he is unrepresented in each of the cases described in paragraph (d) hereof, except when the claimant takes an appeal to the court of appeals. Fees and disbursements provided in such paragraph (d) shall be fixed by the court in which the appeal is taken or the motion for leave to appeal is made. Such fees and disbursements shall be paid by the commissioner as part of the expenses incurred in the administration of this article.

(f) Any person, firm, or corporation who shall exact or receive any remuneration or gratuity for any services rendered to or on behalf of a claimant except as allowed by this section and in an amount approved by the board or a court shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. The appeal board shall order the restitution of it exceeds the amount authorized by this section.

Subd. 1 as amended by L. 1995, Ch. 728 effective September 1, 1995; further amended
by L. 1981, Ch. 831 effective January 1, 1982.

2. Fees of witnesses and other expenses. Fees of witnesses and other expenses, except representation services, involved in proceedings under this article shall be paid at a rate to be established by regulation of the commissioner except that such fees and other expenses involved in proceedings before referees and the appeal board shall be paid at a rate to be established by regulation of this board. Such fees or other expenses shall be treated as expenses under this article.

Subd. 2 as amended by L. 1981, Ch. 831 effective January 1, 1982.

3. Representatives; lists. (a) The appeal board shall establish the qualifications and procedures for the registration of agents authorized to represent claimants in connection with any claims arising under this article. An agent shall be registered as authorized to represent claimants by providing the appeal board with his name, business address and telephone number and by posting a bond with the appeal board in the amount of five hundred dollars for the benefit of claimants charged fees by said representative in excess of those approved pursuant to this section and with respect to which restitution has been ordered pursuant to paragraph (f) of subdivision oneof this section. An agent shall be registered as authorized to represent an employer by providing the appeal board with a letter of authorization from the employer. No agent may be registered who knowingly violates paragraph (c) of subdivision one of this section.

(b) An attorney who is available to represent claimants may notify the appeal board by providing his name, business address and telephone number.

(c) The appeal board shall maintain lists of authorized agents and attorneys who are available to represent claimants and shall make such lists available to claimants on request.

Subd. 3 as added by L. 1981, Ch. 831, effective January 1, 1982, as amended by L. 1984, Ch. 278,
effective August 24, 1984, provided, however, that paragraphs (a) and (c) of subdivision 3 of section 538
of the labor law as added by Section 1 of this act shall remain in full force and effect until December 31, 2000,
as amended by L. 1996, Ch. 590, effective August 8, 1996 and further amended by L. 1998, Ch. 490,
effective July 29, 1998.

Sec. 539. Acquisition of land and buildings.

The commissioner of general services, on the recommendation of the industrial commissioner and with the approval of the director of the budget and on behalf of the state, is hereby authorized

(1) to purchase land with or without buildings;
(2) to erect buildings thereon;
(3) to enter into contracts with any person, firm or corporation which shall agree to erect on land owned by such person, firm or corporation, suitable buildings at locations acceptable to the commissioner of general services and the industrial commissioner, and to agree on behalf of the state to lease such land and buildings for a period of not more than fifteen years from the time of the completion of said buildings at such rentals and subject to such terms and conditions as may be agreed upon; such contract shall contain the plans and specifications for the proposed buildings, which must be approved by the industrial commissioner and the commissioner of general services; each such contract and lease shall provide that upon the termination of said lease, or upon the earlier payment in full of the total amount specified therein the lessor shall convey to the state title in fee simple to the land and buildings covered under said lease;
(4) to enter into lease-purchase contracts as specified under (3) above with respect to buildings already in existence;
(5) to purchase and to provide for fixtures, equipment and facilities in connection with the said buildings or premises and to make necessary alterations and improvements thereof.

The provisions of section one hundred sixty-one-a of the state finance law limiting the period for which the commissioner of general services is authorized to lease premises to a term not exceeding five years shall not be applicable to leases executed in accordance with this section.

Space in each of such buildings shall be primarily utilized by the commissioner for the administration of this article, but space in any such building in excess of such requirements, as determined by the industrial commissioner, may be rented or sub-leased under an agreement entered into by the commissioner of general services only to the state of New York, or any agency or authority of the state of New York. Rents received under such agreement shall be paid into the unemployment administration fund. However, if, in connection with such building, moneys were advanced by the special fund to carry out the purposes of this section, the rents received under such agreement shall be paid into the said fund until such time as it shall be fully reimbursed for such advances. In addition, under such circumstances, an agreement shall be entered into between the commissioner and the commissioner of general services pursuant to which the fair rental value of all space in such building utilized by the commissioner shall be determined and a transfer of amounts equal to such rental value out of the unemployment administration fund to the special fund is hereby authorized until the special fund shall be fully reimbursed for such advances. The fair rental value of space utilized by the commissioner shall not exceed the prevailing rental rate for suitable space in privately owned buildings in the same locality.

§539 as amended by L. 1962, Ch. 37 effective February 20, 1962

Sec. 540. Informational leaflet about the food stamp program.

The commissioner shall establish procedures whereby each person who files a claim for unemployment insurance pursuant to section five hundred and ninety-six of this chapter, shall receive an informational leaflet about the food stamp program provided by the department of social services pursuant to subdivision six of section ninety-five (a) of the social serviceslaw.

§540 as added by L. 1978, Ch. 546, effective October 22, 1978.

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