Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board

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About the Board

The Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board is an independent board made up of five full-time salaried members appointed by the Governor for terms of six years. Not more than three may belong to the same political party. One member is named by the Governor as chair. The Executive Director and the Chief Administrative Law Judge are also administrative officers of the Board.

What is the Board's work?

The Board has two primary functions:

  1. Its Administrative Law Judges conduct hearings and make decisions on initial determinations issued by the Department of Labor concerning unemployment insurance benefits or employer liability for unemployment insurance taxes; and
  2. the Board decides appeals that are taken from those decisions.

Public Access to Records

The Executive Director of the Appeal Board is the records access officer for all records. The mailing address is

Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board
P.O. Box 29002
Brooklyn, NY 11202-9002

Requests for access to records should be directed to Susan Borenstein, Executive Director, at that address.

U. I. Appeal Board Member Biographies

Geraldine A. Reilly, Chair

Geraldine A. Reilly is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of the Seton Hall University School of Law. She also earned a Master of Science in Industrial and Labor Relations from the Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations and Baruch College of the City University of New York. Her undergraduate degree is from Brooklyn College of the City University of New York. Ms. Reilly worked as a staff counsel in the New York State Assembly and as a staff member to the Labor, Education and Banking Committees. She has extensive experience in the field of labor relations and labor law in the public and private sectors and in the railroad industry. She has experience in arbitration and in drafting and negotiating legislation, including the unemployment, labor and workers’ compensation laws. She was appointed to the New York State Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board in February 2010.

Michael Twomey Greason

Michael Twomey Greason was appointed to the Board in 2002 and reappointed in 2003 and 2006. He served as Chairman from July 2006 through July 2007. A native of New York City, Mr. Greason brings 20 years of government and management experience to the Board. He began his public career in law enforcement and has more recently served the public and non-profit sectors as an Assistant Manager of the Metropolitan Museum of Art; as Director of Communications for the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation of NYS; as Deputy Commissioner of Personnel for the City of Yonkers; and most recently, as the Deputy Commissioner of Human Rights for the State of New York. Mr. Greason is a graduate of the Richmond (VA) Sheriff's Academy and he received his Bachelor's and Master's degrees from the University of Richmond.

George Friedman

After earning his Bachelor's degree at the University of Vermont, George Friedman was awarded a scholarship based on academic excellence to study law at the New York University School of Law, where he served on the law review. He became involved in local politics in his home county of Bronx.   In December, 1986 he was elected by the Executive Committee of the Bronx Democratic County Committee as its Chairperson. Wearing the mantle of Bronx Democratic Leader permitted him to play an important role in every election for the next eight years. After serving for 12 years on the New York State Assembly staff, he rose to the position of Chief Counsel to the Democratic Majority of the Assembly Committee on Ways and Means.  He was then elected to the Assembly and served as a member of that body for 18 years.  He was next elected to serve as a Justice of the Supreme Court from January 1, 1995 until his retirement from the Judicial Bench in January, 2002.  He was then appointed as a commissioner of the New York State Commission of Investigation, where he served until April, 2009.   In 2010 Governor Paterson appointed Judge Friedman to a six-year term as a member of the Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board.  His training as a state legislator for 18 years and his service as a Supreme Court Justice make him eminently well qualified for this honor.

James S. Alesi

Jim Alesi served his community in elective office for 23 years, starting as a Monroe County Legislator, then a State Assemblyman, and ultimately as Senator. In the Senate, he was Chairman of the Commerce, Economic Development and Small Business Committee. In addition, he held highly influential positions on the Senate Finance, Rules, and Labor Committees, as well as several other committees. As a member of the Senate Committee on Investigations, Senator Alesi was appointed to a Bipartisan Special Ethics Investigation Committee, which was co-chaired by now Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. He was appointed to the NYS Small Business Advisory Board and the NYS Workforce Investment Board by Governor Pataki. He was reappointed by Governor Patterson. His efforts focused on the need for job creation and retention in a work environment that treated workers fairly. As a former union member and small business owner, he has a unique understanding of the mutual needs of business and labor. Jim Alesi graduated from St. John Fisher College in 1970. For many years, he owned a statewide commercial laundry business with operations in the Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, and Albany regions. He has served on several not-for-profit boards and has received nearly 300 awards from various community organizations. He retired undefeated from the Senate in 2012, having served with five Governors. In 2013, Governor Andrew Cuomo appointed him as a Member of the Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board.

Randall T. Douglas

Randall (Randy) T. Douglas has served as the Town of Jay Supervisor since 2004. He is the first third-generation Supervisor in the history of Essex County. His grandfather Arthur J. Douglas served from 1966-1972; his father Thomas A. Douglas served from 1972-1980, and again from 1998-2000. Traditionally, chairmen serve two one-year terms. However, Douglas was elected unanimously to six consecutive one-year terms by a bi-partisan Board because of his outstanding work on behalf of Essex County. Douglas is a past member of the North Country United Way Board. He also served as a member of the resolution committee for the New York State Association of Towns and Villages and as a member of the Board of Directors for the New York State Association of Counties until his election last fall as President-Elect. Douglas served on the Adirondack Association of Towns and Villages Executive Board. Douglas studied criminal justice at Clinton Community College in Plattsburgh, NY, and has completed course work and received his certification from NYSAC/Cornell University’s Dennis A. Pelletier Institute. Douglas's greatest accomplishment may be that he led the Town of Jay and Essex County in recovery and rebuilding efforts from the worst natural disaster in their history from the effects of Hurricane Irene on August 28, 2011.