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On December 14, 2010, New York State Governor David Paterson signed into law the Wage Theft Protection Act, A. 11726/S. 8380 (the "Act"). The Act substantially increases civil and criminal penalties against employers which break New York's overtime pay laws, minimum wage laws, or other wage payment laws.
This author's March 2010 post on the (then-pending) Wage Theft Prevention Act is linked here. The Act takes effect on April 12, 2011.
The Wage Theft Prevention Act, as passed by the New York State Senate, is linked here. For the New York State Assembly's identical version of the Act, see here.
Among other changes to current law, the Wage Theft Protection Act raises the monetary damages recoverable in particular types of lawsuits by employees or by the New York State Commissioner of Labor (the "Commissioner of Labor" or the "Commissioner") against firms which violate New York State's overtime pay laws, minimum wage laws, or other wage payment laws. Moreover, the Act increases criminal punishments for violations by employers of New York's minimum wage statutes for which, to date, the courts have imposed less severe criminal penalties.
With respect to civil lawsuits against employers, the Wage Theft Protection Act amends the New York Labor Law by, among other revisions:
As to criminal cases against employers or against employers' officers or agents, the Wage Theft Protection Act amends the New York Labor Law by, among other changes,
New York is one of several states or counties which, in 2010, established or increased penalties against employers which fail to pay overtime pay, minimum wage, or other wages. Among the other jurisdictions which enacted such laws this year are Illinois; Maryland; Nebraska; Washington State; and Miami-Dade County, Florida.
Call the Law Offices of David S. Rich, LLC at (212) 209-3972 to consult with a knowledgeable labor and employment attorney about ensuring that your company complies with overtime pay and other wage and hour laws, or to retain a skilled overtime lawyer to defend your company in overtime pay lawsuits or other wage and hour litigation.