FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 3, 2005
MAYOR BLOOMBERG SIGNS LEGISLATION WHICH WILL PROHIBIT CITY BUSINESSES FROM RESTRICTING EMPLOYEES FROM EXITING THEIR PLACE OF WORK IF IT ENDANGERS THEIR SAFETY
Remarks by Mayor Bloomberg at a Public Hearing on Local Laws
"The next bill before me is Introductory Number 629-B, sponsored by Council Members Yassky, Barron, Clarke, Fidler, James, Koppell, Liu, Nelson, Stewart, Weprin, Foster, Gennaro, Quinn, Gerson, Addabbo, Jackson, Brewer, Comrie, Martinez, de Blasio, Gonzalez, Seabrook, Katz, Sanders, Speaker Miller and Public Advocate, Betsy Gotbaum. This bill prohibits employers from locking in, or otherwise prohibiting employees from exiting their workplace, if doing so endangers their safety.
"Employers have an obligation to create and maintain a work environment that ensures the safety and welfare of their employees. While great strides have been made in the last century to improve working conditions and protect worker health and safety, there is always more that can be done. Training, planning and proper oversight are all essential to creating a safe and productive workplace.
"Intro 629-B addresses a simple but dangerous problem by explicitly prohibiting employers from locking the doors of, or otherwise prohibiting exit from, any workplace when doing so may jeopardize the health or safety of their employees. The legislation further requires the Fire Department to conduct unannounced workplace inspections to ensure compliance with the law and extends whistle-blower protections to employees who report unsafe work conditions.
"I would like to thank the City Council, Fire Department Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly and Department of Buildings Commissioner Patricia Lancaster for their leadership on this issue."
Edward Skyler / Jonathan Werbell (212) 788-2958