December 18, 2015
By Tara Jessup
Albany, NY – From the start of 2015 to the present, New York State has recovered and returned $28.9 million to more than 24,000 workers who were victims of wage theft. Since its formation in July, the Governor’s Task Force to Combat Worker Exploitation has launched more than 450 investigations into worker exploitation, finding more than 2,700 violations, including theft of wages, failure to protect workers with mandatory Workers’ Compensation coverage and retaliation against workers who complain about violations of the law. The cases affect more than 2,000 workers in New York State.
Often the victims of workplace exploitation are immigrants. “I believe that government has a responsibility to protect and promote immigration not to block it or harass people who only want a better future for their families,” said Governor Cuomo. “New York is a state of immigrants, and when the immigrant community succeeds, we all succeed. As Governor I am proud to be standing up for New York’s immigrants and fighting exploitation, and this administration is not going to rest until every worker and every family has the opportunity to make the most out of their God-given talents.” The State Multiagency Task Force has launched a comprehensive statewide investigation into multiple industries to identify and address worker exploitation and abuse. Since the Task Force launched in July, the multiagency enforcement team has opened more than 450 cases that affect more than 2,000 workers.
Independent of the Task Force to Combat Worker Exploitation, the Nail Salon Task Force has conducted more than 1,300 inspections and found more than 2,600 violations, affecting approximately 4,000 workers, New York State AFL-CIO President Mario Cilento said: "All workers deserve to be treated fairly and with dignity and respect. We commend Governor Cuomo and the Exploited Worker Task Force for the important work being done to ensure all workers receive the pay they duly earned.