Governor Announces New Task Force To Combat Worker Exploitation
New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced a number of new measures to support the mission of the Task Force to Combat Worker Exploitation. First, the Task Force will be supported by $700,000 to coordinate outreach and education with workers and employers, as well as investigations, prosecutions and data collection and compliance efforts. Additionally, the Governor has created an Anti-Retaliation Unit and a Mediation Unit within the State Department of Labor to eliminate retaliation against workers who assert their rights, and to expedite the speedy disposition of cases generated by the Task Force’s investigations. The Governor has also launched a new website (www.ny.gov/EndWorkerExploitation) to provide workers, employers and the general public with information about the Task Force and how to come forward and help combat worker exploitation.
So far, the Task Force has opened 30 joint-agency enforcement cases across the state. The 30 employers at the center of these investigations are accused of violating child labor laws, stealing wages, tips and overtime pay, retaliating against employees who complain of wage and workplace violations, and failing to carry appropriate Workers Compensation Insurance or contribute to the Unemployment Insurance Fund. The industries include restaurants and delis, supermarkets and housecleaning companies, landscaping companies and car washes.