Hochul Approves Carlos’ Law

J.M. Lesinski

A shot of Silvercup Studios in the Bronx, New York.Photo byPhoto by J.M. Lesinski

New York State Governor Kathy Hochul recently passed legislation amending New York State Penal Law to up the penalty of criminal corporate liability in the event of an employee’s death or severe physical injury to a fine of up to five hundred thousand dollars.

"Construction workers are the engine that keep our economy moving, and they deserve strong protections under the law," Hochul remarked of Carlos’ Law. "This legislation will add a new layer of accountability for safety protocols and will establish important protections for the individuals who do this vital, difficult, and often dangerous work. I thank the bill sponsors for their partnership in getting this done, and I hope that this provides a measure of comfort to the family and loved ones of Carlos."

The legislation, known as Carlos' Law, improves accountability practices for injuries at New York state construction sites in addition to the penalty increase. The legislation is named after 22-year-old Carlos Moncayo, who lost his life suddenly and tragically while working construction in New York City in 2015.

"After years of fighting for my sponsored bill, we are relieved that Governor Hochul signed Carlos' Law to prevent unscrupulous construction firms from taking advantage of the working-class, especially immigrant workers in my district,” New York State Assemblymember Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn noted of Carlos’ Law. “After several iterations, I'm pleased to finally hold construction firms accountable for providing proper workplace training and safety. Carlos' Law will now force construction firms to value workers' well-being, instead of writing off serious workplace injuries as a cost of doing business. The amended Law also expands the definition and protections of 'employees' to include subcontractors, day laborers and other workers who deserve these rights, while adding culpability for their employers. Although there is an enforceable fine that will deter violators, there will never be enough money to bring back a life."

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I have worked as a professional journalist for over five years now, covering the arts, music, food, politics, and culture up and down both coasts of the United States. I have a B.A. in English from SUNY Fredonia with minors in Psychology and Creative Writing, as well as an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from California State University, Fresno.

Buffalo, NY

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