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JOHN L. LASCARIS v. GEORGE K. WYMAN (11/12/69)

SUPREME COURT OF NEW YORK, ONONDAGA COUNTY 1969.NY.43477 <http://www.versuslaw.com>; 305 N.Y.S.2d 212; 61 Misc. 2d 212 November 12, 1969 JOHN L. LASCARIS, COMMISSIONER OF THE DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES OF ONONDAGA COUNTY, PLAINTIFF,v.GEORGE K. WYMAN, INDIVIDUALLY AND AS COMMISSIONER OF THE DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, DEFENDANT Leonard C. Koldin for plaintiff. Louis J. Lefkowitz, Attorney-General (Sidney L. Grossman of counsel), for defendant. Richard Mosher for Local 320 IUE. Blitman & King (William A. Pizio of counsel), for Greater Labor Council of Syracuse. Bond, Schoeneck & King (James E. Wilber of counsel), for Manufacturers Association of Syracuse. MacKenzie, Smith & Lewis (Thomas Quinlan of counsel), for Chamber of Commerce of Syracuse. James P. O'Donnell, J. Author: O'donnell


James P. O'Donnell, J.

Author: O'donnell

 This is an action for a declaratory judgment, brought by John L. Lascaris, Commissioner of the Department of Social Services of Onondaga County, against George K. Wyman, individually and as Commissioner of the Department of Social Services of the State of New York.

The plaintiff seeks an interpretation of section 131 (subds. 1, 4) of the Social Welfare Law (now Social Services Law) as the law applies to striking employees. The Attorney-General appears for the defendant, interposes an answer, and sets forth an affirmative defense that the State Commissioner in the instant case has made a determination that welfare assistance shall be granted to those unable to maintain themselves where:

(a) The applicant is a striking worker staying from work because of a union-management conflict, where the worker is a member of the union.

(b) The applicant is not a member of the union but remains away from work because of union-management conflict.

The Manufacturers Association of Syracuse and the Chamber of Commerce of Syracuse, New York, appear as amici curiae in support of plaintiff's position. Local 320 of the International Union of Electrical Workers and the Greater Labor Council of Syracuse appear amici curiae in support of the defendant's position.

The matter comes before the court solely upon the pleadings and certain stipulations entered into by the parties. It is in the nature of a motion for summary judgment.

Subdivision 1 of section 131 of the Social Services Law states: "1. It shall be the duty of social services officials, insofar as funds are available for that purpose, to provide adequately for those unable to maintain themselves, in accordance with the requirements of this article and other provisions of this chapter. They shall, whenever possible, administer such care, treatment and service as may restore such persons to a condition of self-support or self-care, and shall further give such service to those liable to become destitute as may prevent the necessity of their becoming public charges."

Subdivision 4 provides: "4. No assistance or care shall be given to an employable person who has not registered with the nearest local employment agency of the department of labor or has refused to accept employment in which he is able to engage.

"A person shall be deemed to have refused to accept such employment if he:

"a. fails to obtain and file with the social services district at least once in every two-week period a new certificate from the appropriate local employment office of the state department of labor stating that such employment office has no order for an opening in part-time, full-time, temporary or permanent employment in which the applicant is able to engage, or "b. wilfully fails to report for an interview at an employment office with respect to employment when requested to do so by such office, or

"c. wilfully fails to report to such office the result of a referral to employment, or

"d. wilfully fails to report for employment. Such wilful failures or refusal as above listed shall be reported immediately to the social services district by such employment office.

"This shall not apply to persons who cannot register with such employment agency because of age, ...


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