The New York State Department of Labor announced that its Division of Worker Protection investigators have recovered and returned over $11.7 million in stolen wages to 12,000 affected workers since January 1, putting the Department on track to recover $20 million in stolen wages this year. Over $200,000 in recovered wages span six larger cases in which the Division of Labor Standards was able to investigate and reach settlements. These cases primarily involve workers who are victims of wage theft because they are not paid overtime or minimum wage or have had their tips stolen
“Wage theft undermines the dignity and rights of hardworking New Yorkers,” said New York State Department of Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon. “The Department of Labor’s investigators work with law enforcement partners to ensure that no employer is above the law, and that all workers’ rights are protected.”
The six notable wage theft cases included:
- A grocery store worker in Elmont who received $37,095
- A dry-cleaning employee in Manhattan who received $20,000
- A jewelry store worker in Jackson Heights who received $65,000
- A tow truck operator in Elma who received $25,900
- An installer working for a restoration company in Yonkers who received $11,400
- A technician working for a transit company in Plattsburg who received $48,000
As part of the Department of Labor’s Worker Protection Division, a variety of strategies are used to accomplish its mission and carry out program priorities to uphold labor standards and fight against wage theft in a variety of industries statewide.
Department of Labor District Offices routinely conduct on-site investigations to review records, interview witnesses, verify compliance, and expand investigations beyond the original complaint if necessary. They work closely with employers to ensure compliance and collect restitution for workers.
In July 2022, Governor Hochul announced renewed efforts by New York State to crack down on wage theft, including nearly $3 million in recoveries through the Wage Theft Task Force, a coordinated partnership between the Department of Labor, the New York State Attorney General, the New York State Insurance Fund, the New York City Department of Investigations, and Offices of District Attorneys across the state. Over the past decade, the Department of Labor had recovered and dispersed more than $360 million in stolen wages, identified over a million misclassified workers, and assessed over $400 million owed in unemployment insurance contributions through both criminal cases and civil enforcement.
If you believe you are victim of wage theft, please contact the attorneys at Pechman Law Group at 212-583-9500. We have recovered over 30 million dollars on behalf of workers who have been cheated out of their overtime or have been subjected to other unlawful pay practices.