[HISTORY: Adopted by the Suffolk County Legislature 10-18-1995 by L.L. No. 30-1995 (Ch. 40 of the 1985 Code). Amendments noted where applicable. Uncodified sections of local laws amending these provisions are included at the end of this chapter.]
This Legislature hereby finds that recent incidents have arisen involving individuals who are currently collecting disability pensions while working as employees of the County of Suffolk and performing tasks that require significant physical exertion.
This Legislature hereby finds and determines that employing such individuals with hard-earned taxpayer dollars promotes the perception that abusive practices are condoned by Suffolk County, feeds public mistrust of elected officials, and erodes the already tenuous public confidence in government in general.
Therefore, the purpose of this chapter is to prohibit the receipt of any New York State disability by any individual who is employed by Suffolk County when such receipt is in violation of any applicable provision of New York State law.
The New York Civil Service Law (§ 150) and the New York Retirement and Social Security Law (§ 402) include provisions which require the termination or reduction of pension and annuity payments, including those made on the basis of disability, when an individual receiving such pension or annuity returns to public sector employment in New York State. The County of Suffolk shall coordinate with the State Comptroller under pertinent provisions of § 402 of the New York Retirement and Social Security Law regarding medical examinations performed by the State Comptroller to ascertain whether or not an employee collecting a state disability allowance is engaged in a gainful occupation that is incompatible with the underlying disability and whether an employee is able to perform the essential functions of his or her job.
Every individual applying for employment with Suffolk County shall be advised, as part of the application process, that he or she will be asked, upon commencing employment, if he or she is currently receiving any form of disability payment from New York State. If he or she is receiving such payment, the County shall notify the New York State Comptroller, who will take such action as may be warranted in the event that continued receipt of such disability payments is in violation of the New York Civil Service Law and/or New York Retirement and Social Security Law.
Each newly hired or promoted County employee shall be required to complete a sworn affidavit at least 20 business days subsequent to commencing work for the County of Suffolk which affirms that the employee is not currently receiving any form of New York State disability payments or the employee is currently receiving a New York State disability payment and identifies the nature and source of such payment. This affidavit shall be filed with the Suffolk County Department of Human Resources, Personnel and Civil Service at least five business days subsequent to the twenty-day period described above. Failure to file such affidavit in a timely fashion shall result in a withholding by Suffolk County of further payment of compensation to such individual pending such filing.
Prior to certifying continued compensation to such individuals, the County Department of Human Resources, Personnel and Civil Service shall certify that such continued employment does not violate § 402 of the New York Retirement and Social Security Law, and that such employee is still able to perform the essential functions of his or her job.
Where an affidavit indicates that an employee is receiving a New York State disability payment, a copy of such affidavit shall be forwarded to the New York State Comptroller by the Suffolk County Department of Human Resources, Personnel and Civil Service within 10 days after receipt of the affidavit by the Department to facilitate such action by the State Comptroller as may be warranted to terminate or reduce the New York State disability payment.
Any individual who either intentionally fails to file an affidavit required by Subsection C of this section or who intentionally files an affidavit containing false statements as to the information required by Subsection C of this section shall be guilty of an unclassified misdemeanor punishable by a fine of $1,000 and/or a term of imprisonment not to exceed six months.
In the event that an individual is compensated in a position of County employment in violation of the provisions of this chapter, then the Suffolk County Comptroller shall seek reimbursement of all wages, salary or other forms of compensation, including the dollar value of fringe benefits, paid to said individual during any period of such violation, plus interest in the amount set forth in § 3-a, Subdivision 1, of the New York General Municipal Law.
This chapter shall apply to any individuals hired or promoted subsequent to the effective date of this chapter.