Construction companies convicted of criminal negligence in an employee’s severe injury or death could now face penalties of up to $500,000, according to a new state law going into effect this weekend.

But advocates doubt the higher fines allowed under Carlos’ Law—named for Ecuadorian immigrant Carlos Moncayo, who was buried alive in a 13-foot trench—will significantly reduce worker deaths.

“Carlos’ Law will merely be symbolic unless construction and workplace safety is consistently enforced,” said Diana Florence, a former prosecutor with the Manhattan district attorney’s office led the case against a non-union employer after Moncayo’s death in 2015.


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