The Second Department, reversing (modifying) Supreme Court, in a full-fledged opinion by Justice Brathwaite Nelson, determined the action by the union on behalf of a village police officer challenging the deduction of health insurance costs from each paycheck was a breach-of-contract action and the statute of limitations began running anew for each paycheck:
Teamsters Local 445 (hereinafter the Union) filed a demand for arbitration of a grievance against the Village of Maybrook alleging that the Village breached the parties’ collective bargaining agreement (hereinafter CBA) by deducting a certain amount from each paycheck of Sergeant Michael Maresca for health insurance costs. The Supreme Court granted the Village’s petition to permanently stay arbitration on the ground that the claim sought to be arbitrated was barred by the four-month statute of limitations applicable to CPLR article 78 proceedings. The principal issues raised on this appeal are (1) whether the underlying claim is in the nature of CPLR article 78 seeking review of an administrative determination or in the nature of breach of contract, and (2) if the latter, whether the claim is predicated on a single breach or a series of breaches that occurred with each paycheck. … [W]e determine that the nature of the claim is breach of contract and that the claim is predicated on a series of independent alleged breaches. Since the statute of limitations began anew as to each breach, we find that the claim to be arbitrated was not wholly time-barred. We therefore modify the order appealed from by … granting the Union’s cross-motion to the extent of compelling arbitration of so much of the grievance as was not time-barred. Matter of Village of Maybrook v Teamsters Local 445, 2023 NY Slip Op 06051, Second Dept 11-22-23
Practice Point: Here the union’s challenge to the deduction of the cost of health insurance from a village police officer’s paycheck was governed by the six-year statute of limitations for a breach of contract action, not the four-month statute of limitations for an Article 78 proceeding. The statute began running anew for each paycheck.