Bill S700-2013

Establishes a rebuttable presumption relating to daily employment of unskilled or untrained workers

Provides a rebuttable presumption of criminal negligence when an employer or contractor hires a worker or laborer on a daily basis for a building construction project or construction job and requires such worker or laborer to perform tasks which such worker is not skilled or trained to perform.

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  • Jan 8, 2014: REFERRED TO LABOR
  • Jan 9, 2013: REFERRED TO LABOR

Memo

BILL NUMBER:S700

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the labor law, in relation to establishing a presumption relating to the daily employment of unskilled or untrained workers

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: Creates a rebuttable presumption in a criminal proceeding that an employer who hires an unskilled or untrained worker or laborer on a daily basis and such worker is required to perform tasks he or she is not skilled or trained to perform is criminally negligent.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: A new section 202-l is added to the labor law. In a criminal proceeding against an employer who hires unskilled or untrained workers to perform tasks such worker or laborer is not skilled or trained to perform this bill creates a rebuttable presumption that the employer is guilty of criminal negligence. Section 202-l(2) Establishes that the presumption created in section 202-l may be rebutted by credible and reliable evidence to show employer was not negligent. This section also addresses jury instructions in these cases. Also establishes that the prosecution shall provide notice to the defendant and the court of its intention to request that the court charge such presumption.

EFFECTS OF PRESENT LAW WHICH THIS BILL WOULD ALTER: Currently there is no presumption of negligence in cases involving employers who hire unskilled labor.

JUSTIFICATION: Each day in the City of New York and elsewhere, potential day-laborers gather on street corners hoping to be hired by one of the contractors who cruise the streets looking for cheap labor. These workers are unskilled and untrained. They are often called upon to perform dangerous jobs that require skill and experience. In August 1999 Daniel Eduardo, an unskilled laborer, died on an unsafe construction site when he drowned in concrete after an improperly braced floor collapsed. This accident would have resulted in many more deaths if not for the heroic efforts of fire personnel and police who literally swam through concrete to reach trapped workers. Mr. Eduardo is only one example of hundreds of unskilled day-laborers who toil on construction projects in this State. They are often illegal immigrants who are paid less than minimum wage. They are often exposed to dangerous conditions such as exposed wiring, asbestos and unsafe building practices. They will not report safety violations because they are often illegal immigrants who fear reprisal or deportation. New York State must ensure worker safety and punish those who knowingly subject unskilled, untrained workers to hazardous situations and practices. This legislation will ensure that contractors who knowingly hire unskilled, untrained laborers to do dangerous jobs will be held accountable for their actions.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

S.3115 of 2007 02/23/08 Referred to Labor S.1690 of 2011 01/11/11 Referred to Labor 01/04/12 Referred to Labor

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS: None.

EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on the first of November next succeeding the date on which it shall have become a law.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 700 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE (PREFILED) January 9, 2013 ___________
Introduced by Sen. SAMPSON -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Labor AN ACT to amend the labor law, in relation to establishing a presumption relating to the daily employment of unskilled or untrained workers THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. The labor law is amended by adding a new section 202-l to read as follows: S 202-L. UNSKILLED OR UNTRAINED WORKERS; REBUTTABLE PRESUMPTION. 1. IN A CRIMINAL PROCEEDING COMMENCED AGAINST AN EMPLOYER OR CONTRACTOR, THERE SHALL BE A REBUTTABLE PRESUMPTION THAT ANY EMPLOYER OR CONTRACTOR WHO HIRES A WORKER OR LABORER ON A DAILY BASIS FOR A BUILDING CONSTRUCTION PROJECT OR CONSTRUCTION JOB AND REQUIRES SUCH WORKER OR LABORER TO PERFORM TASKS WHICH SUCH WORKER IS NOT SKILLED OR TRAINED TO PERFORM IS CRIMINALLY NEGLIGENT. 2. THE PRESUMPTION ESTABLISHED BY THIS SECTION SHALL BE REBUTTED BY CREDIBLE AND RELIABLE EVIDENCE WHICH TENDS TO SHOW THAT SUCH EMPLOYER OR CONTRACTOR IS NOT CRIMINALLY NEGLIGENT. IN AN ACTION TRIED BEFORE A JURY, THE JURY SHALL BE SO INSTRUCTED. ANY SWORN TESTIMONY OF A DEFEND- ANT OFFERED TO REBUT THE PRESUMPTION AND ANY OTHER EVIDENCE WHICH IS OBTAINED AS A RESULT OF SUCH TESTIMONY, SHALL BE INADMISSIBLE IN ANY SUBSEQUENT PROCEEDING RELATING TO SUCH CRIMINAL ACTION. IN AN ACTION TRIED BEFORE A JURY, AT THE COMMENCEMENT OF THE TRIAL, OR AT SUCH OTHER TIME AS THE COURT REASONABLY DIRECTS, THE PROSECUTOR SHALL PROVIDE NOTICE TO THE COURT AND TO THE DEFENDANT OF ITS INTENT TO REQUEST THAT THE COURT CHARGE SUCH PRESUMPTION. S 2. This act shall take effect on the first of November next succeed- ing the date on which it shall have become a law.

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