Amd §§20.20, 60.27 & 80.10, add Art 122 §§122.00 - 122.20, Pen L
Enacts Carlos' law; relates to crimes involving the death or injury of a worker; establishes higher fines for corporations who commit such crimes; establishes the crimes of endangering the welfare of a worker in the third, second and first degrees.
NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
BILL NUMBER: A4508A
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the penal law, in relation to crimes
involving the death or injury of a worker
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL:
This bill seeks to protect workers from "supervisors" that negligently
fail to comply with safety protocols by amending the penal code to
created new offenses and substantially increasing the fines that can be
imposed upon a corporate defendant convicted of certain crimes.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
- Section one entitles this act as "Carlos' Law."
- Section two amends paragraph (c) of subdivision 2 of section 20.20 of
the penal law regarding corporate criminal liability.
- Section three amends subdivision five of section 60.27 of the penal
law by adding a new paragraph (c) to allow a court to order additional
restitution to victims.
- Section four amends paragraphs (a) and (b) of subdivision 1 of section
80.10 of the penal law to provide for increased fines against corpo-
rations convicted of certain crimes.
- Section five amends the penal law by adding a new article 122 titled
Workplace Safety. This new title contains a section on definitions,
section 122.00; a class A misdemeanor offense, endangering the welfare
of a worker in the third degree, section 122.05; a class E felony
offense, endangering the welfare of a worker in the second degree,
section 122.10; and a class D felony offense, endangering the welfare of
a worker in the first degree, section 122.15; section 122.20 enforce-
- Section 6 is the effective date.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ORIGINAL AND AMENDED VERSION (IF APPLICABLE):
The criminal actor in this article has been termed a supervisor. This is
a defined term that captures a host of individuals and entities which
exercise control over a job site. And, criminal jurisdiction has been
expanded. The attorney general, as well as the district attorney having
jurisdiction over the criminal conduct, may prosecute these offenses.
Workplace deaths and serious injuries continue to be commonplace in the
construction industry. Of the more than 400,000 workplace fatalities
since Congress enacted the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act),
fewer than 80 have been prosecuted, and only about a dozen employers
have been convicted. That is roughly 1-conviction for every 33,000
fatalities. In the few cases that have resulted in conviction, the
penalty was only $1,000 on average. Under the OSH Act, the criminal
penalty is considered as a Class B misdemeanor, and carries, at most, up
to 6 months imprisonment. The weakness of OSH's punitive measures has
therefore failed to encourage safer work environments. This bill would
reinforce the purpose of the OSH Act by amending the penal code to
include "endangering the welfare of the worker in the third degree",
established as a class A misdemeanor, "endangering the welfare of the
worker in the second degree", a class E felony, and "endangering the
welfare of the worker in the first degree", a class D felony.
This bill increases punitive measures so that employers and supervisors
who ignore or fail to follow safety protocols and procedures and put
workers at risk are less likely to write off serious workplace injuries
as a minimal cost of doing business, and more likely to give workplace
safety the serious attention it requires.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
2018: A.10728 (Espinal) - Passed Assembly; 2017: A.2966-B (Moya) -
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS:
This act shall take effect on the thirtieth day after it shall have
become a law.