Friday, March 23, 2012

New York State Assembly Resolutions
From Bronx Members

Assemblyman Marcos A. Crespo (D-Bronx) introduced a resolution calling on Governor Andrew Cuomo to memorialize March 21st as the 17th Annual Kick Butt’s Day in the State of New York. Kick Butts day is a national day of advocacy and education against tobacco use.

“It is vital that we recognize the gains made to reduce cigarette smoking amongst New Yorkers, therefore, now is not the time to cut back on such important programs. We must oppose the NYS Senate’s support of a 5 million cut to tobacco cessation programs. Cigarette smoking continues to be the cause of the most preventable deaths in the country, and Kick Butts Day is just one of the many ways we are continuing to fight against this addiction,” Assemblyman Crespo said.

In NYC since 2002, we have seen 35%  reduction in adult smoking. Moreover, teenage and adult tobacco use rates have fallen faster in NYS than in the US as a whole. Nonetheless, there is still a staggering 15% New York high school students who are smokers.

According to data completed by the Bronx Smoke Free Partnership, the Bronx has the highest smoking rates in New York City where 3,000 High School students in the Bronx smoke. In the Southeast Bronx 1 in 4 adults are smokers. While the national average is 15% in a given community, the Bronx neighborhoods still average 25% of the population as smokers.

“Furthermore, I commend the institutions across New York State and those in the Borough of the Bronx, such as Bronx Breathes who collaborated with Montefiore Medical Center, The Bronx Smoke Free Partnership, The American Lung Association, The American Cancer Society and particularly the thousands of youth across the country that are today advocating for tobacco cessation through Kick Butt’s Day activities,” Assemblyman Crespo said.

Anyone needing assistance to quit smoking should call the State hotline: (1-866) NY QUITS (1-866-697-8487).
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Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz (D-Bronx) announced today that he has introduced new legislation that would prohibit employers from demanding login information, including usernames and passwords, to popular social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter as part of their hiring process.  The legislation would also protect the privacy of current employees.

Employers are beginning to use various new tools in decisions concerning the hiring, promotion, and discipline of prospective and current employees.  Recently, there have been reports of employers demanding login information, including usernames and passwords, to popular social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter, as well as to email accounts and other extremely personal accounts.  This information is being used as a condition of hiring, promotions, and lateral movement within companies, and in matters relating to disciplinary action including firing of individuals.

This type of request can lead to unfair and discriminatory hiring practices and constitutes a serious invasion of privacy by the employer.  Employees have the right to make their social media public or private through the individual websites, and they should have every right to maintain this level of privacy in their workplace or during an interview.  In this economy, many people cannot walk away from a job and are forced to submit to employers’ requests for passwords for fear that they will not be hired otherwise.  This bill would remedy this serious issue, maintaining prospective employees’ right to privacy and reducing the risk of unfair and discriminatory hiring practices by employers.

“This legislation will address a terrible and growing abuse by certain employers.  The right to privacy and protection from coercion and discrimination must be maintained.  I urge all of my colleagues in the State Legislature to protect the rights of job seekers and support this bill,” said Assemblyman Dinowitz.

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