Senators Jessica Ramos and Assemblywoman Latoya Joyner, the top Democratic lawmakers on the state Legislature’s labor committees, have proposed a bill aimed at creating a statewide temperature standard across multiple sectors of the economy. The bill would require businesses to ensure standard heating and cooling for workers in the agriculture, construction, landscaping, delivery, and food service sectors. The standard temperatures would apply to both indoor and outdoor workplaces, as well as vehicles.
Sen. Ramos noted that the current federal regulations are too broad, and the new bill is aimed at addressing gaps in labor protections for workers. The senators pointed to the hundreds of heat-related workplace injuries reported in New York City last year, with 150 hospital admissions.
Assemblywoman Joyner emphasized the importance of the bill in light of the growing body of research on the harmful impact of long-term exposure to extreme temperatures. She said that the bill would ensure that workers have access to basic resources, such as hydration and a comfortable working environment, to protect their health.
Sen. Ramos and Assemblywoman Joyner emphasized the need for the bill in light of the recent events, such as the conditions faced by UPS drivers without proper air conditioning and the blizzard in Buffalo. They argued that workers, who are often on the front lines of the climate crisis, deserve better labor protections that reflect the dangers they face on the job.
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