New York City’s construction sector may be flourishing in the post-recession boom, buts its workers are suffering injuries and deaths at increasingly alarming rates. Statistics show 2018 was the most dangerous year for construction accidents in NYC in almost a decade, and the number of construction-related injuries and workplace fatalities have been rising steadily for five consecutive years.
Even though thousands of men and women brave those hazards to build the City’s iconic skylines, many advocates, including NYC Councilman Bien Kallos, believe more should be done to ensure workers are paid in a manner which reflects the great personal risks they face, that they’re properly trained so as to better prevent accidents, and that they’re able to live, work, and support families in and around the communities they help build. He’s introduced new legislation calling for just that.
About the Bill: Prevailing Wage, Better Benefits
Kallos announced his proposed legislation in early January, around the time the City and State reported one of its most dangerous fiscal years on record for construction-related casualties. Here are a few details about the bill:
- The legislation would require construction workers to be paid a prevailing wage for work performed on any construction project subsidized by the City.
- Though current law already requires contractors to pay the prevailing wage when projects are directly contracted with the City, the new measure would expand requirements to include any project which receives $1 million or more in government funding, is 100,000 sq. ft. or larger or, for residential projects, has over 50 units in a building.
- Should it pass, the law would also create programs for classroom training, on-the-job training, and apprenticeships, and would make it mandatory for developers to improve transparency, requiring the disclosure of things like sources of subsidies, number of jobs created, and insurance / business information of all contractors and owners.
- Kallos’ proposal additionally includes provisions for monitoring and reporting by NYC agencies and the City comptroller, enforcement of daily $10,000 fines for non-compliance, potential revocation of subsidies, protections for whistleblowers, and protections for workers’ rights.
Councilman Kallos, who is also a union-side labor lawyer, has a commendable record of commitment to the construction industry and the safety of workers. As attorneys who represent clients in personal injury and workers’ compensation cases following all types of construction accidents, our legal team at The Perecman Firm, P.L.L.C., applauds Kallos’ proposal. Not only do we understand the need for managing risks on construction sites, we also know the tremendous financial strains workers and their families often face following job-related injuries, and the need to ensure they are paid a fair wage.
Should the bill become law, and even if it does not, construction workers should still remember that they can face substantial financial repercussions after suffering serious injuries on the job – from those involving falls from heights or ladders, fires and explosions, and toxic exposure to accidents caused or contributed to by Labor Law violations or the negligence of employers or third parties. Workers and their families need to understand they have rights in these situations, and that experienced advocates like those at The Perecman Firm, P.L.L.C., can protect them.
Call (212) 577-9325 or contact our firm online to speak with a New York construction accident lawyer during a FREE consultation. The Perecman Firm, P.L.L.C., is available 24/7, and serves clients across the City and the state.