Memorandum in Opposition to s.2975-a: Amend Labor Law, in Relation to Hours, Wages and Supplements in Contracts for Public Work

Subject: Bill No. S.2975-A

Sponsors: Murphy, Addabbo, Alcantara, Boyle, Breslin, Carlucci, Comrie, Hoylman, Kennedy, Lanza, Peralta, Valesky

The Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) is a trade association comprised of 17,000 owners, builders, brokers, managers, and other real estate professionals active in the real estate industry.

REBNY opposes S2975-A which would limit laborers, workers or mechanics on public work to eight hours of work per day, five days per week except in extraordinary circumstances. 

Our primary reason is that “public work” is expansively defined to include construction by private parties where the subject property is later leased to a public entity under certain conditions.  Such an expansive definition of “public work” imposes additional hour and wage requirements in what would otherwise be private-party transactions between owners and contractors.  Moreover, the bill’s inclusion of “custom fabrication” of construction materials and products made off-site to be compensated at prevailing wage rates could impermissibly impact interstate and international commerce.    

Finally, as a practical matter, limiting the hours and days of construction work will have the unintended consequence of lengthening construction schedules.  It is in everyone’s interest – contractors, workers and public – to ensure that construction is done in a responsible and timely manner.  Construction activity may cause temporary inconveniences to the public and neighboring properties such as noise, debris, sidewalk sheds and road closings.  This bill will only exacerbate such issues by extending a project’s schedule.

Contact: Mike Slattery

Senior Vice President