Corporations in New York’s construction industry will face increased fines of up to $500,000 if they are found criminally liable for worker deaths or serious injuries.
Gov. Kathy Hochul signed into law what has been named Carlos’ Law. The legislation (S.621B/A.4947B) amends the state’s penal law to increase the penalties for criminal corporate liability for the death or serious physical injury of an employee. It raises the maximum fine for criminal liability from $10,000 to no less than $500,000, or, in the case of a misdemeanor, no less than $300,000.
Under the new legislation, a corporation may be found guilty of criminal corporate liability for the death or injury of a worker when it negligently, recklessly, intentionally, or knowingly causes the death or serious physical injury of its employees while they are on the job.
The legislation is named after Carlos Moncayo, a 22-year-old construction worker who died at a New York City construction site in 2015.
“In 2015, Carlos Moncayo, 22, a resident of Queens and an Ecuadorean immigrant, was killed in the workplace due to his employers ignoring repeated warnings of dangerous conditions Mr. Moncayo was placed in,” stated Senator James Sanders. “In his case, justice was not served and his employers escaped an appropriate punishment for criminal actions.”
Assemblymember Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn noted the new law also expands the definition and protections of employees to include subcontractors, day laborers and other workers.
Labor union (LIUANA) Vice President Mike Hellstrom said one construction worker is killed on the jobsite in New York every 5 to 6 days.
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