Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that $291,734.34 in wages has been returned to 462 workers at Durham Bus locations throughout New York State as the result of an investigation by the New York State Department of Labor Division of Worker Protection.
“This administration remains committed to cracking down on wage theft in all its forms and ensuring that workers receive a true day's pay for an honest day's work," Governor Cuomo said. "We will continue to make sure businesses follow the law and keep money in the pockets of those hardworking New Yorkers who earned it."
Service Employees International Union Local 200 officials notified the State Labor Department of possible violations at the Durham Bus location in Syracuse. Labor Department investigators audited the location and discovered numerous instances of worker underpayment and violations of the Wage Theft Prevention Act. The business was judged to owe $12,680.70 in wages and was assessed an additional $3,170 in liquidated damages.
The Department then worked with Durham Bus to investigate additional locations throughout the state to see if other wage violations had occurred, ultimately determining that more than $290,000 in underpayments for minimum wage were owed to 462 workers located in Albany, Poughkeepsie, Watervliet, Rochester, Canandaigua, Schenectady and Minetto (Oswego County).
Acting Labor Commissioner Mario J. Musolino said, “The workers of New York State need to know that the Department stands ready to aid them when they’re not paid their lawful wages. This recovery speaks to the diligence of Department of Labor investigators. Through their efforts, hundreds of workers will be made whole.”
The New York State Department of Labor’s Worker Protection Division, which investigates wage theft, is processing cases more expeditiously than ever before-- meaning more workers receive money owed to them faster. These improvements are due, in part, to policy and operational improvements, such as referring more cases to compliance conferences to expedite a resolution.
More than 80 percent of all investigations are now completed within six months. In 2014, $30.2 million was disbursed to nearly 27,000 workers – more than any previous year and a 35 percent increase in recovered funds over 2013.
Anyone with questions about minimum wage or other labor standards issues, or who would like to file a complaint, should call 888-4-NYSDOL (469-7365).
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