Governor Cuomo will propose new legislation to tackle the issue of wage theft in New York. The legislation will ensure that employers cannot hide from paying hard working employees for the time they spend “on the clock.” Currently under the law, New York State is able to hold top officials from in-state Limited Liability Companies (LLCs), as well as those from corporations within and outside New York personally liable for unpaid wages to their employees.
According to the Daily News, the proposed legislation will hold the top 10 officials of out of state LLCs, personally responsible for unpaid employee wages or judgments. The New York State Department of Labor (DOL) commissioner will be given the power to enforce this legislation.
According to Governor Cuomo, the goal behind the legislation is to be able to recover earnings for employees whose employers cheated them out of paid wages when the company went bankrupt. Many LLCs will create out of state spinoff companies to hide their money or do so in different ways while the bankruptcy process is taking place. Governor Cuomo stated, “New York will ensure a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work.”
In 2015, a task force was created in New York to assist workers in recovering unpaid wages. The task force consisted of the DOL and 10 other state agencies. New York State was able to recover $31.5 million in unpaid wages. The money that was recovered went to 28,000 workers.
The majority of unpaid wage cases involve those who are paid at a rate under the state mandated minimum wage or those in positions where they are not receiving overtime for the additional hours spent working on a job. According to the Daily News, there is widespread exploitation of workers in the nail salon industry, an employment sector which Governor Cuomo’s task force has worked to improve protections for through past initiatives.
Many cases involving wages owed to workers are those where employees were not properly reimbursed for certain expenses, such as travel. Other cases include pay that was deducted by an employer to cover the cost of business loses for expenses, such as customer thefts, traffic tickets, or automobile accidents.
Additionally, immigrants are frequently victims of wage thefts. Many immigrants tend to work irregular hours and are afraid to come forward because they are concerned that an employer may retaliate against them in some way.
If you are in a dispute over unpaid wages, contact an experienced New York employment attorney who will work to ensure that your rights are protected. Call Steven Mitchell Sack at (917) 371-8000 or email him at sms@StevenSack.com.