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Press Release #17-84
Wednesday, December 13, 2017
CONTACT: Public Affairs 646-885-5020

Families of Sanitation Workers Killed in Line-of-Duty Now Able to Receive the Same Benefits Available to Police, Fire and Correction Families

Bill Signed in to Law by Governor Cuomo, Goes into Effect Immediately

Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill into law yesterday that provides the same benefits to families of uniformed Sanitation workers killed in the line of duty as are received by the families of police, fire and correction workers. Chapter 457 of the 2017 Laws of New York allows the Sanitation worker’s spouse to remarry, without forfeit of death benefits, and it increases the pension to 100 percent of the total salary, matching benefits available to the other uniformed agencies. The law goes into effect immediately, and is retroactive to November 1, 1996.

“While thankfully a rare event, sanitation work is a dangerous job, and we have lost dedicated Sanitation Workers through the years,” said Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia. “The families of Sanitation Workers lost to a line-of-duty death deserve the same benefits available to other uniformed workers in the city. This has been at the top of my agenda, and we are thankful to our union partners, legislators, New York City, and to the Governor for getting this important law enacted.”

Presently, a uniformed Sanitation Worker who dies as a result of an injury sustained while on the job in the performance of his or her duties is eligible to receive Accidental Death Benefits from the New York City Employment Retirement System equal to fifty percent of the salary earned in the last year of service. Additionally, a surviving spouse receiving benefits under the Accidental Death Benefit is only eligible to receive such benefits until remarriage. Spouses of uniformed employees of the New York City Police and Fire Departments may remarry and continue to receive Accidental Death Benefits without forfeiture.

Since 1996, there have been 21 Sanitation Workers who have died in the line of duty.

About the New York City Department of Sanitation

The Department of Sanitation (DSNY) keeps New York City healthy, safe and clean by collecting, recycling and disposing of waste, cleaning streets and vacant lots, and clearing snow and ice. The Department operates 59 district garages and manages a fleet of more than 2,000 rear-loading collection trucks, 450 mechanical brooms and 693 salt/sand spreaders. The Department clears litter, snow and ice from approximately 6,500 miles of City streets and removes debris from vacant lots as well as abandoned vehicles from City streets.