The New York City Council has unanimously passed Intro 1447, a bill requiring most construction workers to take 40 hours of safety training. A major holdup had been the concern that many immigrant and low-income day laborers would be shut out of the construction trades by the requirement.
Two workers were killed and another was injured in separate fall accidents on the same day last week in Manhattan. The tragedies prompted a call by Queens Assemblyman Francisco Moya for the swift passage of a bill he is sponsoring, known as "Carlos' Law."
A speeding charter bus plowed into a New York City bus in Flushing, Queens, early Monday morning. It has since been revealed that the charter bus driver had lost his license after a drunk-driving arrest two years ago. Nevertheless, he was allowed back on the road by Dahlia Group, the charter bus company. The driver was killed, along with a pedestrian and a city bus passenger.
As part of a 2017 reform plan, the New York State Workers' Compensation Board is slated to release new guidelines for how to compensate workers for permanent impairments. Unfortunately, the workers' advocacy group the Workers' Compensation Alliance is concerned that they may harm workers' interests. The group has just released a survey that indicates many injured workers already feel their benefits are inadequate.
New York City is the second most dangerous city in the U.S. for bicyclists, according to a recent study, and the most dangerous cities have a fatality rate six times higher than the safest. That fatality rate appears to be closely tied to lack of infrastructure investment.
In a bid to reduce the number of people who pass through city jails and criminal courts on minor charges, the district attorneys of Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx and Manhattan have moved to dismiss 644,494 warrants. These warrants were issued over the past 10 years for minor crimes such as public drinking or riding a bicycle on the sidewalk.
Brooklyn's borough president is lobbying the state to create a special commission to investigate and resolve wrongful convictions. In his county, over two dozen convictions, including some for murder, have been overturned since 2014, and he wants an independent commission set up to "examine exactly what went wrong here and who's culpable."
The Brooklyn District Attorney's Office is seeking to void the 1997 murder conviction of Jabbar Washington. His case was one of those investigated by infamous former detective Louis Scarcella, retired, who was once renowned in Brooklyn for handling cases in the crime-heavy 80s and 90s.
A distribution center for the Gap stores was destroyed by fire last year on Aug. 29 of last year On Dec. 10, a man operating an excavator as part of the demolition was killed. A 100-foot section of roof truss or joist slid loose and rammed into the excavator, piercing it. Now, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has fined his employer for a serious safety violation.
A federal judge has approved a $75-million settlement in a class-action lawsuit brought against New York City after the NYPD issued hundreds of thousands of criminal summonses, regardless of the legal justification, in order to make quotas. The practice, part of the NYPD's "broken windows" approach, disproportionately affected minorities and may be unconstitutional.