Workplace safety is as critical an issue as any other. This is particularly true in law enforcement and the jails where workplace violence is most prevalent as officers deal with society’s most dangerous individuals. Specifically, at the Nassau County Correctional Center, inmate assaults and uses of forces are increasing disproportionately each of the last several years putting correction officers at that facility at increased daily risk of being a victim of assault at their workplace. Under New York Labor Law § 27-b, all employers, including the Nassau County Sheriff’s Department, must implement a Workplace Violence Prevention Program. In particular, under N.Y. Comp. Codes R. & Regs. tit. 12, § 800.6 (g)(2)(iii), the Nassau County Sheriff’s Department must issue “a plan for program review and update on at least an annual basis. Such review and update shall set forth any mitigating steps taken in response to any incidents of workplace violence, . . ..” Despite the fact that Nassau correction officers are at increased risk for workplace violence, the Sheriff’s Department had failed to perform this annual review and assessment, and institute a mitigation plan to address the particularized needs for uniformed employees assigned to the Sheriff’s Department.
In August 2022, we informed the Sheriff’s Department of their legal obligation, but they failed to act. In November 2022, we also informed the State Department of Labor of the Sheriff’s Department’s failure to perform their annual review and assessment on workplace violence. That is why in December 2022, we filed on Nassau County correction officers’ behalf a lawsuit challenging the Sheriff’s Department’s utter failure to protect its employees. We at IDCWLAW will continue to fight for employee safety. IDCWLAW Partner Liam L. Castro, Esq., is handling this case, which is pending in Nassau Supreme Court, and which caught the attention of the news media. See that report here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zA6MFEFXGp8