150. Referees and secretary. (a) The chair shall appoint as many persons as may be necessary to be referees to perform the duties prescribed by this section. All positions of referee now in existence shall remain in the exempt class of the classified civil service, except as otherwise provided herein. The term of referees appointed to positions in the exempt class shall be seven years from the date of appointment; provided, however, that referees may be removed by the chair for cause after notice of charges and an opportunity to be heard. A newly created position of referee, or one that has been vacated, shall be classified in the competitive class of the classified service, and the term of office prescribed herein shall not apply to such appointments; provided, however, that those who are serving in referee positions on the date that this act becomes effective whose term has already expired or whose term expires on or after such effective date may, in the discretion of the appointing authority, be retained in that position until the expiration of the eligible list established as the result of the next competitive examination appropriate for such title, held after January first, nineteen hundred ninety-one or may, before such time, be appointed from such eligible list.
A referee shall devote his or her entire time to the duties of that office and shall not hold any other public office or public employment for which compensation is received, other than necessary travel or other expenses incurred in the performance of the duties of such office or employment, and may engage in any employment that does not conflict with the proper performance of the duties of his or her office and is not inconsistent with the public officers law. Referees shall receive an annual salary to be fixed by the chair within the appropriation made therefor.
(b) It shall be the duty of a referee, under rules adopted by the board, to hear and determine claims for compensation, and to conduct such hearings and investigations and to make such orders, decisions and determinations as may be required by any general or special rule or order of the board under the provisions of this chapter. The decision of a referee on such a claim shall be deemed the decision of the board from the date of the filing thereof in the office of the secretary of the board unless the board, on its own motion or on application duly made to it, modify or rescind such decision. Whenever any deaf person is a party to a hearing conducted before a referee, or a witness therein, the referee shall in all instances appoint a qualified interpreter who is certified by a recognized national or New York state credentialing authority to interpret the proceedings to and the testimony of such deaf person. The board shall determine a reasonable fee for all such interpreting services, the cost of which shall constitute an administrative expense.
(c) Notwithstanding any other provisions of this section to the contrary, the chair may establish a list of board employees qualified by training or experience to serve as acting referees. When the chair or his or her duly designated representative shall determine that a temporary emergency exists, he, she or said representative may assign an employee from such list to serve as an acting referee during such temporary emergency. Such board employee qualified by training or experience shall serve without additional compensation and shall have all the powers and duties of a duly appointed referee.
(d) There shall be a secretary of the board who shall be appointed and may be removed by the board. The board shall fix his salary within the limits of the appropriations therefor. The secretary shall perform such duties in connection with meetings of the board and such other duties as may be assigned to him by the board. He shall also perform such of the administrative duties and have such of the administrative powers of the chairman of the board as may be delegated or assigned to him by the chairman.
Last modified: February 3, 2019