211-a. Prohibition against use of funds. 1. The legislature hereby finds and declares that sound fiscal management requires vigilance to ensure that funds appropriated by the legislature for the purchase of goods and provision of needed services are ultimately expended solely for the purpose for which they were appropriated. The legislature finds and declares that when public funds are appropriated for the purchase of specific goods and/or the provision of needed services, and those funds are instead used to encourage or discourage union organization, the proprietary interests of this state are adversely affected. As a result, the legislature declares that the use of state funds and property to encourage or discourage employees from union organization constitutes a misuse of the public funds and a misapplication of scarce public resources, which should be utilized solely for the public purpose for which they were appropriated.
2. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no monies appropriated by the state for any purpose shall be used or made available to employers to: (a) train managers, supervisors or other administrative personnel regarding methods to encourage or discourage union organization, or to encourage or discourage an employee from participating in a union organizing drive; (b) hire or pay attorneys, consultants or other contractors to encourage or discourage union organization, or to encourage or discourage an employee from participating in a union organizing drive; or (c) hire employees or pay the salary and other compensation of employees whose principal job duties are to encourage or discourage union organization, or to encourage or discourage an employee from participating in a union organizing drive.
3. Any employer that utilizes funds appropriated by the state and engages in such activities shall maintain, for a period of not less than three years from the date of such activities, financial records, audited as to their validity and accuracy, sufficient to show that state funds were not used to pay for such activities. An employer shall make such financial records available to the state entity that provided such funds and the attorney general within ten business days of receipt of a request from such entity or the attorney general for such records.
4. The attorney general may apply in the name of the people of the state of New York for an order enjoining or restraining the commission or continuance of the alleged violation of this section. In any such proceeding, the court may order the return to the state of the unlawfully expended funds. Further, the court may impose a civil penalty not to exceed one thousand dollars where it has been shown that an employer engaged in a violation of subdivision two of this section; provided, however, that a court may impose a civil penalty not to exceed one thousand dollars or three times the amount of money unlawfully expended, whichever is greater, where it is shown that the employer knowingly engaged in a violation of subdivision two of this section or where the employer previously had been found to have violated subdivision two within the preceding two years. All monies collected pursuant to this section shall be deposited in the state general fund.
5. The commissioner shall promulgate regulations describing the form and content of the financial records required pursuant to this section, and the commissioner shall provide advice and guidance to state entities subject to the provisions of this section as to the implementation of contractual and administrative measures to enforce the purposes of this section.
Last modified: February 3, 2019