Governor Kathy Hochul today signed four pieces of legislation to help boost workplace safety and put more money in the pockets of working New Yorkers: The bills establish a demonstration program to implement speed violation monitoring systems in work zones to keep workers safe and make construction contractors liable for the wages owed to their subcontractors. They also require the payment of prevailing wage to building service employees at high-end co-ops and condos and extend Shared Work Benefits.
“On Labor Day every year, we’re reminded of the vital contributions of organized labor to building New York, and that’s why I’m signing four pieces of legislation to help workers thrive across our state,” Governor Hochul said. “These bills will make sure workers are paid fair wages, receive good benefits and stay safe on their worksites. Our state is home to a long and proud legacy of supporting working New Yorkers, and we’re working to bolster that for the future.”
Labor Day Legislation to Bolster New York’s Workforce
Keeping Workers Safe
This legislation (S.4682-B/A.485-B) establishes a demonstration program implementing speed violation monitoring systems in work zones by means of photo devices and relates to notices of liability and the adjudication of certain traffic infractions involving the use of photo monitoring devices.
Making Contractors Liable for Wages Paid to Their Subcontractors
This legislation (A.3350-A/S.2766-C) makes contractors on construction projects jointly liable for wages owed to employees of their subcontractors. Construction contractors are not currently liable for wages of their subcontractors’ employees unless there is an employment relationship between the contractor and the employee of the subcontractor. This bill applies prospectively to contracts entered 120 days after the bill becomes law. It also allows contractors to demand payroll information from subcontractors and withhold payment if the information is not provided.
Paying Prevailing Wage to Building Service Employees in Buildings Receiving the 467-A Tax Abatement
This legislation (S.6350-A/A.7434-A) requires the payment of prevailing wage to building service employees at co-ops and condos that receive tax abatements under section 467a of the tax law. The law applies to buildings with an average unit assessed value of more than $60,000, with the exception of buildings that have an average unit assessed value of $60,000 to $100,000 and have fewer than 30 units. The legislation makes affidavits certifying the payment of prevailing wages to building service workers public records that may be produced before a court or administrative tribunal. The New York State Department of Labor has the power to conduct an investigation and hearing and file a final determination to enforce the law and make sure employees are properly paid.
Extending Shared Work Benefits
This legislation (S.4049/A.5678) changes the cap on Shared Work Benefits from 26 straight weeks to an amount of time equal to 26 weeks’ worth of benefits. The shared work program allows employers to keep employees and avoid layoffs by allowing staff members to receive partial Unemployment Insurance benefits while working reduced hours. Under current law, claimants can only receive 26 weeks of benefits, regardless of what the claimant’s maximum benefit entitlement is under UI. This bill will allow claimants to collect the reduced UI benefit under a Shared Work Program until they have hit their maximum benefit amount under traditional UI.