A broad coalition of supporters are renewing the push for the Wage Theft and Responsible Employer Protection Act, a bill that is awaiting votes in the New York State Senate and Assembly. The bill would toughen penalties on employers that unlawfully withhold pay from their employees, and would provide for penalties that would double the fines paid to employees.
The supporters, groups of advocates for low income wage earners and other groups advocating for the poor and working families of New York, say that the bill is essential to close gaps that have been created, allowing for the exploitation of workers who earn minimum wage in the state.
According to a study by the National Employment Law Project, New York state’s low wage earners are cheated of nearly 18 million dollars a week in lost, unpaid or deferred wages by their employers, amounting to over a billion dollars a year.
We at The Harman Firm applaud these groups standing up for the rights of underpaid and workers who have been taken advantage of by their employers. It is is sad that we have to continue to strengthen penalties against these employers rather than have employers who understand fair treatment, but it is reassuring to see that these groups are not taking these abuses sitting down.