Orange County News: Self-serve kiosks replace SUNY Orange workers; DMV teams with New York Alliance for Donation

Nine full-time and three part-time cafeteria workers at SUNY Orange in Middletown will be laid off in June, to be replaced by food-dispensing machines.

In an email sent to students on Thursday, Vinnie Cazzetta, executive director of the nonprofit Orange County Community College Association, which runs the cafeterias, said the change comes after the college’s food service operations showed a deficit of more than $150,000 last year, “continuing a trend of significant operations losses that has existed for years. By doing nothing we could have been out of business in 12 to 18 months. We would not have been able to make payroll.”

The College Association is a nonprofit that provides auxiliary services to SUNY Orange. It has existed since the late 1950s and runs the campus book store, food services and buys and manages real estate for future campus development. Food service had been a losing proposition for years and had been underwritten by revenue from book sales. However, revenue from book sales has been undercut by Barnes & Noble, Amazon and eBay.

In recent months, the College Association’s board sought proposals from providers that could handle oversight of food services with the intent of keeping the traditional cafeteria setup that’s been around for decades. However, the College Association is close to signing a contract with a new vendor for self-serve kiosks

Wrongful termination takes place when an employee is let go from their job for illegal reasons or if company policy is violated when the employee is fired. In New York and most other states, without a written agreement for a specific term or a collective bargaining agreement in place, employment is at will, meaning that neither the employer nor the employee need a reason to terminate the relationship

An employee can be considered to have been wrongfully terminated if discrimination is involved in the termination, if public policy is violated, or if company policy states guidelines for termination and those guidelines were not followed. Other reasons that could be construed as wrongful termination include being fired for being a whistleblower, complaining about workplace issues, or for not being willing to commit an illegal act when asked to by an employer. Discrimination can be considered wrongful termination if an employee has been fired because of race, nationality, religion, disability, gender, or age.

There are no specific laws that provide protection for employees who have been wrongfully terminated from their job. Rather, wrongful termination may be covered by federal or state laws that prohibit employment discrimination, by contract law if your employer breached an employment agreement, or if the company violated its own policy by terminating the employee. In addition, if an employee feels he or she was forced to leave a job because the employer made the job unbearable, he or she can file a wrongful termination suit against the former employer for constructive discharge.

If you believe you may have been wrongfully terminated from employment, you may be entitled to money damages.

Donate Life Month

Orange County’s Department of Motor Vehicles teamed up with the New York Alliance for Donation (NYAD) during Donate Life Month to increase enrollment in the New York State Donate Life Registry. Donate Life Month is a national observance which raises awareness of the need for organ, eye, and tissue donation. Nearly 10,000 New Yorkers are currently waiting for transplants.

During April, Orange County’s DMV offices in Middletown, Newburgh and Port Jervis have featured promotional items to urge visitors to register as donors. Enrolling in the Donate Life Registry ensures that an individual’s wishes about donation will be known at the time of his or her death. New Yorkers age 16 and older can enroll at their local DMV offices by signing the organ donor consent certification.

According to the New York State DMV,

  • Nearly 10,000 New Yorkers are currently waiting for an organ transplant, and every 13 hours someone dies waiting for an organ transplant in New York
  • Only 29% of New Yorkers age 18 and over have enrolled in the NYS Donate Life Registry, compared to the national average of 51%
  • Just one organ donor can save up to eight lives and improve the lives of up to 50 people by donating tissues and corneas

Currently, 1 in 5 organ donations comes from the victim of a car accident. As set forth in our April 3rdblog post, road maintenance and alcohol-related crashes are two of the more common sources of traffic accidents to be aware of when traveling on Orange County and Hudson Valley roads. Further, car accidents frequently give rise to injury claims, which lead to insurance claims. New York is one of a dozen states that follow a “no-fault” system when it comes to insurance coverage after a car accident. No-fault coverage eliminates injury liability claims and lawsuits in smaller accidents in exchange for prompt direct payment of medical bills and lost wages — up to certain dollar amounts — regardless of who was at fault for the accident.

If you or a family member have been injured in a car accident, you or your family member may be entitled to money damages.

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