The Council will also vote to require additional reporting on remote learning in public schools
City Hall – Today the New York City Council will vote on legislation designed to protect fast-food workers from unfair firings. Under proposed legislation, fast-food employers would be prohibited from terminating employees or substantially reducing their hours without providing bona fide economic reasons or an employee’s demonstrated failure to satisfactorily perform job duties or misconduct.
The Council will also be voting on two bills related to remote learning in New York City public schools. The first bill would require the New York City Department of Education (DOE) to post student attendance data on its website monthly during the use of remote learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The second bill would require the DOE to report on a series of metrics whenever the DOE is engaged in remote learning due to the pandemic, including language access and support provided for English language learners; steps the DOE took to ensure incarcerated students received remote instruction; and details on internet enabled devices ordered and distributed to students.
Members will also be voting on two bills related to housing and buildings. The first would extend the deadline for the inspection of gas piping systems and certifications that hazardous conditions have been corrected for buildings in Community Districts 1, 3 and 10 in all boroughs. As the December 31, 2020 deadline for buildings in these districts approached, building owners expressed concerns that compliance with these requirements, which were established by Local Law 152 of 2016, has been impeded by uncertainty regarding the requirements of Local Law 152, delays in related rulemaking by DOB, and the COVID-19 crisis.
The second bill would provide property owners with an additional six months to complete the installation of carbon monoxide detectors in certain commercial spaces as required by Local Law 191 of 2018. Property owners requested an extension of time to comply with Local Law 191 due, in part, to COVID-19 restrictions and safety concerns.
Members will also vote on legislation to expand whistleblower protections for individuals facing adverse personnel actions and co-name 92 thoroughfares and public spaces.
The Council will also vote on the re-appointment of Miguelina Camilo, Patricia Anne Taylor and Tiffany Townsend to the New York City Board of Elections.
Finally, the Council will vote on several finance and land use items including a resolution authorizing the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications to solicit Requests for Proposals or other solicitation for a period of five years from the date of adoption by the Counsel.
CIVIL SERVICE & LABOR
Prohibits the termination of fast-food employees without just cause
Int. 1415-A, sponsored by Council Member Brad Lander, would prohibit fast-food employers from terminating the employment or substantially reducing the hours of a fast-food employee in the absence of the fast-food employee’s demonstrated failure to satisfactorily perform job duties or misconduct; in other words, without just cause. Employers would be required to give employees a written reason for the termination of their employment.
Laid off fast food employees would also be entitled to schedule pay premiums for shifts lost due to termination and provides for remedies including reinstation, back pay, and civil penalties.
This bill would take effect 180 days after it becomes law.
“Fast food workers have been on the frontlines of this pandemic, serving their neighbors, working in tight quarters, taking on new responsibilities for sanitizing, and yet often unable to speak up about health and safety issues for fear of losing their jobs. These workers, the majority of whom are women and young people of color, have fought hard for years to raise wages and demand workplace protections. I’m grateful to them, to 32BJ SEIU, and to the partnership of Council Member Adams and Speaker Johnson, for getting us here today to take this groundbreaking step forward for workplace rights,” said Council Member Brad Lander.
Int. 1396-A, sponsored by Council Member Adrienne Adams, would prohibit fast-food employers from terminating the employment or substantially reducing the hours of a fast-food employee in the absence of bona fide economic reasons, including full or partial closing of operations or technological or organizational changes to the business in response to the reduction in volume of production, sales, or profit.
Additionally, the employer would be required to discharge employees by inverse seniority (those hired last will be discharged first). Employees discharged for bona fide economic reasons within the prior year must first be offered available shifts before they are distributed to other employees or new hires. This bill additionally provides for arbitration of disagreements between fast-food employers and fast-food employees.
This bill would take effect 180 days after it becomes law.
“Getting fired without just cause should not be something any New Yorker has to be afraid of, let alone those who have been deemed essential workers during the pandemic,” said Council Member Adrienne Adams. “The majority black, brown and immigrant fast food workers have been forgotten about for far too long. I’m proud to have championed just cause legislation and I’m proud to celebrate our victory today in creating a workplace solution that will address the systemic racism and economic injustice.”
Requires the New York City Department of Education to report on remote learning attendance
Int. No. 2058-A, sponsored by Public Advocate Jumaane D. Williams, would require the New York City Department of Education (DOE) to post student attendance data on its website monthly during the use of remote learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The data would be disaggregated by school, school district, grade, ethnicity and a number of other factors.
This bill would take effect immediately and would be deemed repealed two years after it becomes law.
Requires the New York City Department of Education to report on metrics regarding remote learning during the COVID-19 pandemic
Int. No. 2104-A, sponsored by Council Member Mark Treyger, would require the New York City Department of Education (DOE) to report on a series of metrics whenever it is engaged in remote learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Those metrics would include language access and support provided for English language learners; steps DOE took to ensure incarcerated students received remote instruction; and details on internet enabled devices ordered by the DOE and distributed to students.
This bill would take effect immediately and would be deemed repealed two years after it becomes law.
“Once schools shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic we swiftly shifted to remote instruction; however, the DOE has yet to provide a breakdown of how many students were receiving live instruction. We need a more granular look into the remote learning experience, to better understand its impact on students and faculty. We need to ensure that every student is receiving a high-quality education, whether in-person or remote, so that vulnerable student populations are not left behind,” said Council Member Mark Treyger. “I’m proud of Intro 2104 passing today so that we can understand the gaps in remote education and identify where additional resources are needed. I thank Speaker Corey Johnson for his continued commitment to fighting for our students, school communities and his support of this bill.”
HOUSING & BUILDINGS
Extends the deadline for the installation of carbon monoxide detectors in commercial spaces
Int. No. 2171-A, sponsored by Council Member Robert Cornegy, extends the Local Law 191 compliance deadline by six months, until July 1, 2021, in order to give property owners additional time to install carbon monoxide detectors in compliance with the law. Local Law 191 of 2018 requires the installation of carbon monoxide detectors in certain new Group M occupancies and certain existing commercial buildings that were not previously required to have carbon monoxide detectors.
This bill takes effect immediately and shall be deemed to have been in force and effect on and after January 1, 2021.
“Today we will be discussing a suite of bills intended to make effective and reasonable legislation that improves the safety and quality of life for home and building owners and the tenants. Despite our existing carbon monoxide laws, the City has suffered a number of carbon monoxide related deaths and injuries. In February of this year, seven residents of a Bronx apartment building were sickened with carbon monoxide poisoning. Last month, two men in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn died of carbon monoxide poisoning. They were roommates in a basement apartment, in a building that had been illegally converted. There was no carbon monoxide detector in the basement, and had there been one, these men might be alive today.
“We need to do a better job preventing death by carbon monoxide poisoning, but we must also make accommodations for building owners during the pandemic. Proposed Int. No. 2171-A, which I sponsored, would find this balance by extending the deadline by which carbon monoxide detectors are required to be installed under Local Law 191 from January 1, 2021 to July 1, 2021. The ultimate goal must be public safety, not collecting penalties and not eroding the equity building owners have built by imposing unreasonable gotcha fines,” said Council Member Robert Cornegy.
Extends the deadlines for inspection and correction of building gas piping systems in community districts 1, 3 and 10
Int. No. 2151-B, sponsored by Council Members Daniel Dromm and Robert Cornegy, would extend the deadline for buildings in Community Districts 1, 3 and 10 in all boroughs to inspect gas piping systems and, where applicable, certify that hazardous conditions have been corrected. The deadline for these requirements, which were established by Local Law 152 of 2016, would be extended from December 31, 2020 to June 30, 2021. The deadlines for the remaining Community Districts are staggered through December 2023.
Additionally, the New York City Department of Buildings (DOB) would be required solicit public comments related to the implementation of Local Law 152, to conduct targeted outreach regarding the requirements of the law, and submit a report describing the methods of targeted outreach employed by the agency.
This local law would take effect immediately, and sections related to extending the compliance deadline would be retroactive to January 1, 2020.
“Intro 2151-B will give a much-needed reprieve to the tens of thousands of property owners in Queens community districts 1, 3 and 10 who—like all of us—are still reeling from this pandemic,” said Council Member Daniel Dromm. “It would be difficult to expect our constituents to bring inspectors into their homes in the middle of a pandemic or face thousands of dollars in fines. The goals of Local Law 152 are laudable; but the initial deadline, set well before anyone could foresee this pandemic, is not practicable at this point. When circumstances change and call for reassessment, we have to respond. I want to thank Speaker Johnson and Housing and Buildings Chair Robert Cornegy for their support of this bill. Most of all, I want to thank my constituents who launched this effort by bringing the matter to my attention. This is democracy is action.”
OVERSIGHT & INVESTIGATIONS
Expands whistleblower protections
Int. No. 1770-A, sponsored by Council Member Ritchie Torres, would expand whistleblower protections for individuals facing adverse personnel actions by:
- Requiring the Corporation Counsel to investigate allegations of adverse personnel action against high-ranking officials within the Department of Investigation (rather than having those officials investigate themselves);
- Clarifying that persons who report misconduct to the Special Commissioner of Investigation for the New York City School District are eligible for whistleblower protection;
- Requiring that the entity investigating a whistleblower retaliation claim provide periodic status updates (at least every 90 days) to the relevant whistleblower;
- Establishing a private right of action for City employee whistleblowers who suffer adverse personnel actions if their employing agency does not comply with remedial actions recommended by the Department of Investigation (or appropriate investigating entity); and
- Requiring more comprehensive annual reporting about whistleblower retaliation claims from the Department of Investigation.
This bill would take effect immediately.
“This legislation will guarantee additional protections to whistleblowers and government employees who speak up against corruption and foul play,” said Council Member Ritchie Torres. “It ensures that no one will be retaliated against for speaking the truth, and will get necessary notice of their whistleblower case. It is the most significant revamp of our current whistleblower laws, and will further transparency and accountability in government.”
PARKS & RECREATION
Co-names 92 thoroughfares and public places
Int. No. 2187, sponsored by 37 Council Members, would co-name 92 thoroughfares and public places, based on requests of Council Members whose district includes the location. Of these 92 co-names, 4 are either a relocation of a previously enacted co-naming or a revision to the street sign installed with respect to a previously enacted co-naming.
This local law would take effect immediately.
The Council will vote on a budget transparency resolution, Expense and Revenue Budget Modifications to make changes to the Fiscal 2021 budget, an Article XI property tax exemption for Scheuer House of Brighton Beach in Council Member Chaim Deutsch’s district to preserve 154 units of affordable senior housing, and a an Article XI property tax exemption for Ridgewood Bushwick 203K in Council Member Antonio Reynoso and Council Member Darma Diaz’s districts to preserve 83 units of affordable housing.
Information Services Franchise Authorizing Resolution
Reso. No. 1445-A, sponsored by Council Member Rafael Salamanca Jr., is an authorizing resolution submitted by the Mayor to the Council pursuant to Charter Section 363, for the granting of non-exclusive franchises for the installation of cable, wire and/or optical fiber and associated equipment on and in the inalienable property of the City (including through pipes, conduits and similar improvements thereto) to be used in providing one or more telecommunications services.
The proposed authorizing resolution would authorize the New York City Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT) to solicit Requests for Proposals (RFPs) or other solicitation for a period of five years from the date of adoption by the Counsel. Franchises granted in connection with such RFPs could be for a period of up to 15 years.
“New Yorkers are beyond frustrated with the lack of options when it comes to broadband availability, myself included. Rather than be able to negotiate with a diverse group of providers, we are limited to the same few franchisees who have worked to keep rivals at bay. Resolution 1445 changes that. By authorizing the expansion of franchise agreements, New York City would be able to enter into new contracts that increase competition and access – which are sorely lacking in the current environment – and help consumers and businesses secure the best available product, at the best available price. Today, we are issuing the clearest signs to providers that we are breaking the long-established monopolies,” said Council Member Rafael Salamanca.
The New York City Department of Housing and Preservation and Development (HPD) seeks designation and project approval of anUrban Development Action Area Project (UDAAP) and disposition approval of City-owned vacant property to facilitate the construction of three new buildings with approximately 84 affordable housing units in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn. The proposed development team is a partnership between non-profit developers St. Nicks’ Alliance and Bedford-Stuyvesant Restoration Corp., with the properties to be developed under HPD’s Extremely Low and Low Income Affordability (ELLA) Program with affordability ranging from 30 to 80 AMI in Council Member Robert Cornegy’s district.
P.S. 48 (now P75Q at P.S. 48, The Robert E. Peary School)
On September 22, 2020,The New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) designated Public School (PS) 48 as a City Landmark. Built in 1936, PS 48 is an early example of the Art Deco architecture style that is particularly unique for an elementary school in Council Member Adrienne Adams’ district.
NYC Health & Hospitals/Woodhull II
The New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation seeks City Council approval of a proposed 99-year sublease of approximately 13,000 square feet of lot area of the Woodhull Hospital parking lot to Comunilife to be used for the development of an eight-story residential building with 93 supportive and affordable housing units. The proposed development will be adjacent to Comunilife’s newly constructed six-story supportive and affordable housing building at the corner of Park Avenue and Throop Avenue containing a similar mix of units. The policy goal of the supportive housing in both the existing and proposed development is to provide housing for hospital patients eligible to be discharged from inpatient care, who would face potential homelessness upon discharge in Council Member Robert Cornegy’s district.
265 Front Street Rezoning
This application, in Council Member Stephen Levin’s district, has been withdrawn by the applicant.
312 Coney Island Avenue Rezoning
312 Coney Island Avenue LLC seeks a proposed rezoning from C8-2 to R8A/C2-4 within the Special Ocean Parkway District and related zoning text amendments and special permits to facilitate the development of a new mixed-use building with approximately 278 units, including 70 affordable units, ground-floor retail space, and a new church facility in Council Member Brad Lander’s district. The Council will be modifying this application.