The Washington Post: Tear Down N.Y.’s ‘Scaffold Law’ to Rebuild Infrastructure

“A battle to repeal an obscure New York law protecting construction workers appears to be gaining momentum, with backers saying the 19th-century measure is typical of the reasons it’s so difficult and costly to rebuild the nation’s infrastructure.

But a legal institute at New York Law School says that’s bunk.

Earlier this month, the nonprofit Common Good, a New York-based organization that has pushed to build a major new tunnel under the Hudson River, issued a report calling for repeal of New York’s “Scaffold Law.” The law — which was enacted in 1885 to protect workers building New York City’s skyscrapers — imposes strict liability on builders to ensure the safety of workers, including undocumented immigrants, who are at risk of falling from buildings, bridges and other tall structures under construction.”

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