Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that during the first six months of 2014, state investigators recovered and disbursed more than $16.4 million in wages, interest and damages to 21,050 workers cheated out of their proper pay and benefits.
Every New Yorker is entitled to a fair wage, and as these figures show this administration will not tolerate those who seek to withhold what their workers are owed, Governor Cuomo said. We will continue our work to crack down on wage theft in New York and to ensure that an honest days pay gets paid for an honest days work.
The State Department of Labor (DOL) completed the investigations of nearly 5,000 cases between January and June 2014, a 45 percent increase over the same period in 2013, and collected nearly $850,000 in related penalties from employers at fault.
DOL is on track to disburse more in 2014 than in any other year in the Departments history. The $16.4 million disbursed to workers through June 2014 represents a 16 percent increase over 2013 and a 35 percent increase over 2012 during the same timeframe.
Cases that are processed more expeditiously and left open for shorter periods of time mean workers are receiving the money owed to them at a faster pace. The reduction in open cases is due, in part, to policy and operational improvements, such as referring more cases to compliance conferences to expedite a resolution.
This has led to a marked downturn in the number of cases under investigation. For example, DOL has completed the investigation for 78% of cases opened in January 2014 and nearly all cases opened prior to 2012.
New York State Labor Commissioner Peter M. Rivera said, Employers that follow the law simply cannot compete with those that would line their own pockets by taking the rightful wages of their employees. Both workers and law-abiding businesses lose in cases of wage theft. It is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.
Anyone with questions about minimum wage or other labor standards issues, or who would like to file a complaint, should call: 1-888-4NYSDOL (469-7365).