Building Trades, Features, Finance, Law and Politics, Municipal Government, New York

U.S. Labor Dept Allows Employers to Avoid Prosecution

August 15, 2018

By Stephanie West

NEW YORK, N.Y.  – New York Attorney General Barbara D. Underwood has filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Labor for failing to respond to her requests to review records  concerning a new program that allows employers who violate labor laws to  avoid prosecution and penalties. The suit asks the court to compel the Federal Department of Labor to respond to the New York Attorney General’s request for information.
“The PAID Program is nothing more than a get-out-of-jail-free card for predatory employers,” said Attorney General Underwood. “New York workers have a right to know why the Secretary of Labor decided to let employers off the hook when they don’t pay their workers. The Labor Department failed to provide required information — so we’re taking them to court to get the information to which we are legally entitled.”

The New York Attorney General’s information request was submitted to the U.S. Department of Labor on April 11, 2018 pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). There are concerns that this program will allow employers to evade prosecution and penalties for wage theft. In addition, the program does not require employers to pay employees at the higher state or local minimum wage or overtime wage rates. For a New York City fast food worker, that could mean the difference between recovering wages at the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour rather than the applicable state minimum of $13.50.

August 15, 2018

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