Airport workers at John F. Kennedy (JFK), LaGuardia (LGA), and New York Stewart International Airport (SWF-Stewart Intl.) may soon be receiving increased wages and benefits under the Healthy Terminals Act (the “Act”) (Senate Bill S6266D). Spurred by the COVID-19 related death of a JFK airport worker, the Act recently passed both the New York State Senate and Assembly. Next, the Act will be delivered to Governor Cuomo for his signature. Governor Cuomo has not indicated whether or not he will sign the Act. If signed, the Act will take effect on January 1, 2021.
Scope of covered individuals
The Act has a broad (and ambiguous) scope of coverage. The Act defines covered airport workers as any worker employed by a covered airport employer that works at least half of the workweek at a covered airport location. The Act exempts individuals who qualify for the executive, administrative, and professional exemptions under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) or are covered under Articles 8 and 8-a of New York Labor Law, which applies to construction workers on New York City’s public work and grade crossing elimination projects.
Covered airport employers are defined as any entity employing a covered airport worker (other than public agencies) and covered airport locations include any airport operating under the jurisdiction of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which currently encompasses JFK, LGA, and SWF-Stewart Intl. The Act does not exclude air carriers and appears to cover not only air carriers, but also ground handling companies providing ramp, catering, and other support services.