In re: Newark Valley Central School District v. Public Employment Relations Board, et al.

After a school board’s smoking ban extended to empty school buses, school bus drivers filed a complaint with the PERB, claiming that the refusal of the school board to negotiate a change in its smoking policy violated the civil rights law.  While an administrative law judge sided with the drivers, the Supreme Court annulled PERB’s determination.  However, the Supreme Court of New York, Appellate Division, Third Department reversed that judgment, ruling that the complete smoking ban on school buses (even when there are no students aboard) should be negotiated.

On March 24, 1994, the New York Court of Appeals, at 83 N.Y. 2d 315, 632 N.E. 2d 443, 610 N.Y.S. 2d 134, 1994 N.Y. LEXIS 281, affirmed that reversal of the trial court’s ruling which had upheld the school board’s policy.  The Court of Appeals concluded that “there is no compelling public policy regarding residual smoke that would justify a refusal to negotiate a change in the District’s smoking policy.”  See “Smoking Ban on Empty School Buses Held Improper,” Indoor Air Pollution Law Report, April 1994, 1.

NY Ct. of Appeals, No 47 (1994).  189 A.D. 2d 229, 596 N.Y.S. 2d 216, 1993 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 3729.