The Task Force to Combat Worker Exploitation has just been given a boost from Governor Andrew M. Cuomo. According to WorkersCompensation.com report, the governor approved $700,000 for education, outreach, and investigations. The Governor also formed an Anti-Retaliation Unity and a Mediation Unit. These units will exist within the State Department of Labor to help prevent retaliation against workers who assert their rights.
The Governor is sending a clear message that the rights of workers will be protected, and those who exploit workers will be punished.
The Task Force has already opened 30 joint-agency enforcement cases statewide. The first cases the new Task Force is working on include:
- Child labor law violations
- Theft of wages, tips, and overtime pay
- Retaliation against employees who are whistleblowers or who have reported workplace violations
- Failures to get necessary Workers’ Compensation Insurance
- Failures to contribute to the Unemployment Insurance Fund
The Anti-Retaliation Unit includes a group of attorneys and investigators. These professionals will inform employers of the penalties they’ll face if they retaliate against a worker. Their involvement hopes to encourage employers to stop their retaliatory actions.
The Mediation Unit strives to help employees and employers resolve workplace violations. They will step in while a workplace is under investigation to resolve issues. They will focus on complaints of wage theft and similar issues. Ideally, they’ll help employees get the money they’ve earned and help employers avoid heavy fines for violating the law.
Governor Cuomo has taken great strides towards protecting the rights of New York workers. But, there’s always been and will always be employers who exploit their workforce. No amount of regulation and support can protect every worker.
If you believe that you have not received the benefits you deserve following a work-related injury, you should speak to an experienced New York workers’ compensation lawyer.
Let Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin, LLP be there to help you. Contact us at (212) 986-7353 to talk about your case.