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A08838 Summary:

BILL NOA08838
 
SAME ASSAME AS S07148
 
SPONSOREpstein
 
COSPNSR
 
MLTSPNSR
 
Amd 665-a, Ed L
 
Prevents institutions from implementing contingencies on the receipt of state funding by preventing the use of language in agreements regarding mandatory arbitration, internal dispute processes, prohibiting class actions and prohibiting the disclosure of any information in the agreement to anyone.
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A08838 Actions:

BILL NOA08838
 
12/18/2019referred to higher education
01/08/2020referred to higher education
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A08838 Memo:

NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY
MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION
submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
 
BILL NUMBER: A8838               REVISED 01/08/2020
 
SPONSOR: Epstein
  TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the education law, in relation to preventing insti- tutions from implementing contingencies on the receipt of state funding   PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: To prohibit institutions of higher education from participating in state award programs if they require students to submit to mandatory arbitra- tio n and/or other policies that limit students' ability to resolve complaints in our court system, with state agencies, or other govern- mental entities.   SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section 1 amends subdivision 1 of section 665-a of the education law by requiring participation agreements between the Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC) and institutions wishing to participate in award programs described in article 14 of the education law to include terms and conditions making participation in award programs conditional on an institution's agreement to not require students: -to submit to mandatory arbitration before the commencement of any legal action -resolve a complaint through an internal dispute process waive any rights, forum, or procedure including the right to file civil action or a complaint -refrain from disclosing the terms of the agreement or any violation thereof Institutions are prohibited from threatening or discriminating against students who are eligible for an award program described in article 14 of the education law who refuse to consent to mandatory arbitration or other policies that limit their ability to resolve complaints in our court system, with state agencies, or other governmental entities. Institutions who wish to participate in award programs described in article 14 are prohibited from requiring students to enter agreements that require them to take an affirmative action to preserve their rights. Courts can award attorneys' fees to a prevailing plaintiff enforcing their rights. Nothing in the paragraph is intended to invalidate arbitration agree- ments enforceable under the Federal Arbitration Act. An institution's violation of the terms of its participation agreement or any other applicable laws, rules, or procedures could result in the termination of its participation in state award programs after a hearing process carried out in accordance with the State Administrative Proce- dure Act. Section 2 provides the effective date   JUSTIFICATION: Forced arbitration agreements make it easier for people to get away with wrongdoing undetected because arbitration lacks transparency and because arbitration chills people from coming forward to file claims. Because the state of New York has limited public funds, we must ensure those funds are spent on good and safe products, like quality education. Forced arbitration would make it easier for any school to conceal that its product wasn't good and safe. Therefore, we don't want to spend public funds on schools that use forced arbitration.   PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New bill   FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS: To be determined.   EFFECTIVE DATE: 180 days after becoming law.
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A08838 Text:



 
                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________
 
                                          8838
 
                               2019-2020 Regular Sessions
 
                   IN ASSEMBLY
 
                                    December 18, 2019
                                       ___________
 
        Introduced  by M. of A. EPSTEIN -- read once and referred to the Commit-
          tee on Higher Education
 
        AN ACT to amend the education law,  in  relation  to  preventing  insti-
          tutions  from implementing contingencies on the receipt of state fund-
          ing
 
          The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and  Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
 
     1    Section  1.  Subdivision  1  of section 665-a of the education law, as
     2  amended by chapter 681 of the laws  of  1986,  is  amended  to  read  as
     3  follows:
     4    1.  Participation agreement. (a) No institution may participate in the
     5  general, academic or other award  programs  described  in  this  article
     6  unless  it  shall  have entered into a written agreement with the corpo-
     7  ration under which it shall be bound to comply with all laws  and  rules
     8  applicable to such programs.  Each participation agreement shall include
     9  the following terms and conditions:
    10    (i)  An  institution  shall  not,  as a condition of any award or loan
    11  pursuant to this article, require any student:
    12    (1) submit to mandatory arbitration to resolve any  matter  thereafter
    13  arising  under  such  agreement  prior  to the commencement of any legal
    14  action to enforce the provisions of such agreement;
    15    (2) resolve a complaint through an internal dispute process;
    16    (3) waive any right, forum,  or  procedure  for  a  violation  of  any
    17  provision  of  this  chapter,  including  the right to file and pursue a
    18  civil action, class action or a complaint with, or otherwise notify, any
    19  state agency, other public prosecutor, law enforcement  agency,  or  any
    20  court or other governmental entity of any alleged violation; and
    21    (4)  be prohibited from disclosing, discussing, describing or comment-
    22  ing upon the terms of the agreement or any violation thereof.
    23    (ii) An institution shall  not  threaten,  retaliate  or  discriminate
    24  against  any  student  eligible  for  such  award or loan because of the
 
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD14224-01-9

        A. 8838                             2
 
     1  refusal by such student to consent to mandatory arbitration, to  resolve
     2  a  complaint  through  an  internal dispute process, to waive any right,
     3  forum, or procedure for a violation of this chapter, including the right
     4  to  file and pursue a civil action, class action or a complaint with, or
     5  otherwise  notify,  any  state  agency,  other  public  prosecutor,  law
     6  enforcement  agency,  or  any  court or other governmental entity of any
     7  alleged violation, or not to disclose, discuss, describe or comment upon
     8  the terms of the agreement or any violation thereof.
     9    (iii) For purposes of this paragraph, an  agreement  that  requires  a
    10  student  to  opt out of a waiver or take any affirmative action in order
    11  to preserve their rights is deemed a condition  of  any  award  or  loan
    12  pursuant to this article.
    13    (iv)  In  addition  to injunctive relief and any other remedies avail-
    14  able, a court may award a prevailing plaintiff  enforcing  their  rights
    15  under this paragraph reasonable attorneys' fees.
    16    (v)  Nothing  in  this  paragraph  is intended to invalidate a written
    17  arbitration agreement that is otherwise enforceable  under  the  Federal
    18  Arbitration Act.
    19    (b)  The  participation  agreement  may  contain  such other terms and
    20  conditions, consistent with such applicable laws, rules and  procedures,
    21  as  the  president may require in accordance with rules adopted for this
    22  purpose by the board and shall be developed  in  consultation  with  the
    23  commissioner of education.
    24    (c)  In  accordance  with rules adopted by the board for this purpose,
    25  the president, may suspend, limit or terminate an institution's  partic-
    26  ipation  in  these  programs in the event it shall be determined after a
    27  hearing conducted in accordance with the state administrative  procedure
    28  act  that  the  institution  has  violated any applicable laws, rules or
    29  procedures provided for under the agreement in accordance with  law  and
    30  the rules of the board.
    31    § 2. This act shall take effect on the one hundred eightieth day after
    32  it  shall have become a law. Effective immediately, the addition, amend-
    33  ment and/or repeal of any rule or regulation necessary for the implemen-
    34  tation of this act on its effective date are authorized to be  made  and
    35  completed on or before such effective date.
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