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A Guide to New York Labor Laws

NYC-Construction-Accident

Many workers involved in NYC construction accidents, are not aware of their legal rights.  They may not understand that regardless of whether they were a union or nonunion worker or were working on or off the books, there are laws in the City and State of New York that protect every worker which allows them to bring a claim against the responsible entities. 

Once of the most important laws protecting construction workers from NYC construction accidents is New York Labor Law Section 240(1).  This law places “absolute liability on owners, contractors and their agents”.  In 1969, the State Legislature noted the law placed the “ultimate responsibility for safety practices at building construction jobs where such responsibility actually belongs, on the owner and general contractor rather than on the workers themselves”.  

By placing the ultimate responsibility at job sites for the workers’ safety on the owners and general contractors, the law requires them to inspect a job site and correct any unsafe work conditions to prevent NYC construction accidents from occurring.   Even if they chose not to accept this responsibility of inspecting or supervising the job site, the law will still find the owner and general contractor liable for a workers’ injuries.

Labor Law 240(1) for NYC Construction Accident

Under Labor Law 240(1), a property owner and general contractor have a “nondelegable” duty to protect the workers.  This means that even if another trade working at the site, including the worker’s employer, was responsible for the conditions that cause your accident, the owner and general contractor are still responsible.  The courts find under this law an owner and general contractor have “absolute liability”. This means they are responsibility even when they did not supervise or control the work taking place at the time of the New York City construction accident.   

This liability also extends to situations where an owner does not have knowledge about the work taking place.  This occurs for instance when an out-of-possession owner leases the premises to a tenant. The lease does not require the owner to approve construction work for which a tenant hired a contractor. However, the owner is still liable under this law.

An exception to an owner’s liability under Labor Law 240(1) is when the your NYC construction accident takes place at a one of two family dwelling. Under the law, the owners of these dwellings are exempt from liability when they do not direct or control the work.  In such situations, it is important during the investigation to understand if the owner was building or renovating the property solely for a commercial purpose.  If so, the exception does not apply and an owner remains liable for a worker’s injuries.

Labor Law 241(6)

In addition, an owner or general contractor can be at fault under New York Labor Law Section 241(6). This is when an owner or general contractor fails to provide reasonable and adequate protection and safety to persons where there is construction, excavation or demolition work.  To establish liability under Section 241(6), an injured worker must show there was a violation of a section of New York State’s Industrial Code (Rule 23). The Industrial Code provides specific safety standards on an owner or general contractor. They are at fault when they fail to comply with the code requirements, resulting in an NYC construction accident.

Labor Law 200

Under New York Labor Law Section 200, an owner or contractor is at fault when they created a dangerous condition. Also when they had actual or constructive “notice” of the dangerous condition that caused the accident.  “Actual Notice” is when an owner or contractor was personally aware of the dangerous condition. An owner or contractor has “Constructive Notice” when they had adequate time to become aware of the dangerous condition. Despite this awareness, they may still fail to take any measures to correct or remedy the unsafe condition. When this occurs, they can be found at fault for the worker’s accident. 

NYC Local Law 196

In addition, in 2017 New York City enacted Local Law 196 . As of March 1, 2018, the law required all workers and supervisors at job sites involving construction or demolition work to have a minimum number of hours of site safety training. The currently amount is 30 hours and will increase to 40 on September 1, 2020.  Contractors who do not comply with these rules will be denied a permit to perform construction or demolition work.  Contractors can also be subject to civil penalties up to $10,000 for major violations. They can have penalties up to $25,000 for immediately hazardous violations.  Making sure workers have the right training will lessen the amount of accidents and prevent workers from being injured.

When you are injured, contact The Platta Law Firm attorneys where we make sure the parties at fault are found responsible for your NYC construction accident.  Our lawyers will stand by your side to fight for what you deserve. We obtained multiple multi-million dollar awards for clients injured in NYC Construction Accidents. We help them have an easier life after injury along with being able to look after their family.

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