NY hoping to pass Carlos’ Law, a bill aiming to protect workers

Carlos’ Law is a bill that was introduced in New York after a young construction worker died in a trench collapse. The state is hoping that Governor Kathy Hochul signs it into official law.

Understanding the bill known as Carlos’ Law

New York State Senate bill S621B, Carlos’ Law, was created after a 22-year-old construction worker, Carlos Moncayo, was killed in a trench collapse in 2015. The tragic death occurred after an inspector deemed the New York City Meat Packing District site unsafe, urging the supervisor and foreman to prevent workers from going into the trench, which was unprotected. Shortly after the warning, Moncayo was crushed to death while working in that trench.

The general contractor who was working at the site was convicted of manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide and reckless endangerment. Unfortunately, the fine was limited to only $10,000.

Harsh penalties if the bill passes

If Carlos’ Law is signed by Governor Hochul as many are hoping, it will ensure that those in charge of dangerous construction sites resulting in serious injuries or death are held accountable. Criminal penalties for misdemeanors would be at least $300,000 while those for felonies would be at least $500,000.

Although the governor has not yet made a decision on whether or not she will sign the bill into law, she stated that she will decide by the end of the year. If Carlos’ Law passes, there will also be punitive damages required for any construction contractors who put workers at risk.

Carlos Moncayo died in 2015, but the bill only recently passed. It was introduced shortly after his death to make working conditions safer for New York construction workers, who already have difficult jobs.

Workers should not have to face life or death situations when their employers know about unsafe conditions.