Union Obtains Expanded Family Protections Through Arbitration

October 4, 2021

The Legal Services Staff Association has obtained a favorable order through arbitration regarding in-person court work for members and their household members who can’t be vaccinated or who have high-risk medical conditions. This order provides enhanced protections for those staff who are not able to do in-person court work due to their own health status or that of a household member.

Under the agreement, LSNYC is required to consider accommodations for:

  1. Employees whose medical provider advises against receiving any COVID-19 vaccination due to medical contraindication;
  2. Employees deemed “more likely” to become severely ill from COVID despite vaccination, per CDC guidance;
  3. Employees who live with people who have a high-risk health condition as defined by the CDC and are unable to be vaccinated;
  4. Employees who live with people who are deemed “more likely” to become severely ill from COVID despite vaccination, per CDC guidance.

In securing the right to have accommodations based on the health conditions of household members, this agreement goes significantly beyond the traditional “reasonable accommodation” framework—which considers the disability only of employees themselves—and provides stronger protections than any other legal-services organization in NYC, and possibly nationally, has achieved for its staff.

Further, those who apply for an accommodation may be excused from in-court work while the application is pending as long as coverage is available and the initial application suggests that the accommodation is likely to be granted.

Click here to read the arbitration order.