NYC Employment Law – The Wage Theft Protection Act
The Wage Theft Protection Act has been passed by the Legislature of the State of NY and is waiting for Governor Patterson’s signature before it becomes law. because of this new law New York residents will enjoy increased protection from minimum wage and overtime pay violations. the Act makes it compulsory for employers to pay the workers they victimized double the amount that was due plus other fines and legal costs.
Minimum wage and overtime pay violations have been an issue for years. why are politicians only now beginning to take notice and do something about it? It’s because the New York State government is currently short on funds and employers breaking overtime pay and minimum wage laws decrease tax revenue.
The recent crackdown on these employment law violations have been spurred in part by a recent study that shows that NY workers lose $18.4 million in unpaid overtime pay and minimum wages per week. Added up, that means a loss of approximately a billion dollars annually. What’s more, the average low wage worker loses around 15% of his annual income. Lastly, three-quarters of those who work overtime do not receive the mandatory overtime pay premium and 69 percent of workers are not given meal breaks.
Although New York’s new Wage Theft Protection Act seems like the answer to every abused worker’s prayer, it is worthless if not coupled with strict enforcement. Improvements on existing laws have to be made with the welfare of the workers in mind. Ideally, the unpaid overtime must be immediately taken from the offending employer and held in trust for the victim till the case is resolved. Companies need to know that the law means business and that the punishment for employment law violations can seriously damage them. as of right now, New York employment law violation cases crawl at a snail’s pace while the accused company keeps the unpaid wages as the complaining workers struggle for justice. What’s worse, the amount due is normally negotiated to favor the employer. the Wage Theft Protection act and other laws protecting the legal rights of workers are a great help to workers and employment lawyers in the fight for justice.