by Peggy Kerns
With New York state employees facing layoffs and terminations, the New York State Commission on Public Integrity has made it easier for them to look for a job.
The Commission waived a 2006 advisory opinion that required employees to wait 30 days before pursuing employment with someone who has business pending before his or her agency. The Commission responded to a request from the State Department of Environmental Conservation to provide waivers to employees who have been targeted for layoffs.
The primary concern expressed in the advisory opinion was that the 30-day rule would not provide enough time for employees to search for outside employment until they were close to leaving their public jobs. The Commission left in place guidelines to prevent conflicts of interest.
This seems like a compassionate thing to do in hard economic times. The trick will be how well New York can maintain the balance between giving a break to laid-off employees and yet preventing the conflicts of interest that revolving door laws are intended to guard against. We were unable to find any other state revolving door laws that exempt layoffs.