BUFFALO (WENY) – In recognition of Labor Day, Governor Kathy Hochul signed four pieces of legislation benefitting workers across the state.
“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.”
The first piece of legislation established a program implementing speed cameras in work zones to help reduce the number of work zone violations that put crews at risk.
The second makes contractors on construction projects jointly liable for wages owed to workers of their subcontractors. Currently, construction contractors are not liable for wages of their subcontractors’ employees until there is “an employment relationship between the contractor and the employee of the subcontractor”. The new legislation applies to contracts entered 120 days after the bill becomes law. It also lets contractors to demand payroll information from subcontractors; contractors can withhold payment if that information is not provided.
The third piece of legislation requires building service employees at co-ops and condos that receive certain tax abatements to earn a prevailing wage. The law applies to buildings with an average unit assessed value of more than $60,000, with the exception of those that have an average unit assessed value of $60,000 to $100,000 and have fewer than 30 units.
The fourth law will change the cap on Shared Work Benefits from 26 straight weeks to an amount of time equal to 26 weeks’ worth of benefits. The state’s shared work program lets employers keep their workers and avoid layoffs by allowing workers to receive partial unemployment benefits while working reduced hours. Under current law, claimants can only receive 26 weeks of benefits, regardless of what their maximum benefit entitlement is under Unemployment Insurance. The law will let workers collect the reduced UI benefit under a Shared Work Program until they have hit their maximum benefit amount under traditional Unemployment Insurance.