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State distributes millions to underpaid workers

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,” Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said in announcing the results. “We will continue to crack down on wage theft in New York in order to ensure that workers are paid honestly.”

The State Department of Labor completed the investigations of nearly 5,000 cases between January and June, 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 department’s 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.

“Employers that follow the law simply cannot compete with those that would line their own pockets by taking the rightful wages of their employees,” said state labor Commissioner Peter M. Rivera. “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).



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