Reporting Rich Lamb
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP/WCBS 880) – Gov. David Paterson is set to sign into law Monday tougher penalties on bosses who illegally withhold workers’ pay, though it won’t affect wages this holiday season.
The new law allows a court or the Labor Department to force employers to pay back wages plus another 100 percent in damages, up from 25 percent currently. It takes effect in 120 days.
“Is going to not only establish that the statues be adhered to and that they be compliant.. But it’s also going to give those individuals who have been violated what they need for a long time… a voice and a protection,” said Governor Paterson.
The National Employment Law Project, based on a worker survey, estimates New York City employers shortchange their low-wage workers, including those in the retailing and restaurant businesses, by almost $1 billion a year.
The state Labor Department reports recovering and disbursing a record $28.8 million to nearly 18,000 people whose wages were illegally underpaid last year.
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