New Legislation Protects Homeowners and Workers Involved in Mold Abatement

New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill to protect workers and homeowners who are involved in mold assessment, remediation, and abatement on residential property. The law modifies a licensing requirement for contractors and enforces Environmental Protection Agency standards when dealing with mold.

Black mold can cause serious health complications, most commonly affecting the pulmonary, respiratory and immune systems. The new law protects homeowners by ensuring their contractors are legally licensed and formally trained. Mold removal employees also benefit with employer-provided personal protection equipment, including N-95 masks, long gloves, and protective goggles in accordance with EPA guidelines.

“This is a great step in the right direction,” New York State Senator Diane J. Savino said. “We will be able to ensure that all New York City contractors, as well as our average New Yorkers, are adequately equipped and trained [for] various jobs dealing with mold.”

The new law also protects homeowners from fraud by requiring a mold assessment independent of the remediation contractor, posted notice of the project and the contractor’s license, and a follow-up independent assessment of the work done.

“Many Superstorm Sandy victims unfortunately found that those who claimed to fix their mold problem were actually unqualified scammers who took their money and left their homes in [a] dangerous condition,” Assemblyman Todd Kaminsky said. “This bill establishes that those who are given licenses for mold inspection and remediation will be duly qualified to perform those tasks.”

New licenses will be issued by the State Department of Labor following completion of a thorough training program.  Contractors are prohibited from advertising and operating without a license. Failure to comply or violating the law will result in civil penalties ranging from $2,000 to $10,000.

You have the right to work in a healthy environment. If your employer is not compliant with the law or forces you to work in unsafe conditions, contact an experienced employment attorney who will strive to ensure that your rights are protected. Contact an experienced New York Employment Attorney who will get you the compensation you deserve. Call Steven Mitchell Sack at (917) 371-8000 or email him at sms@StevenSack.com. You can also visit his website at www.theemployeeslawyer.com.

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