1. The Laws of New York
  2. Consolidated Laws
  3. Labor
  4. Article 6: Payment of Wages


Section 198 Costs, remedies

Labor (LAB)

1. In any action instituted upon a wage claim by an employee or the commissioner in which the employee prevails, the court may allow such employee in addition to ordinary costs, a reasonable sum, not exceeding fifty dollars for expenses which may be taxed as costs. No assignee of a wage claim, except the commissioner, shall be benefited by this provision.

  1-a. On behalf of any employee paid less than the wage to which he or she is entitled under the provisions of this article, the commissioner may bring any legal action necessary, including administrative action, to collect such claim and as part of such legal action, in addition to any other remedies and penalties otherwise available under this article, the commissioner shall assess against the employer the full amount of any such underpayment, and an additional amount as liquidated damages, unless the employer proves a good faith basis for believing that its underpayment of wages was in compliance with the law. Liquidated damages shall be calculated by the commissioner as no more than one hundred percent of the total amount of wages found to be due, except such liquidated damages may be up to three hundred percent of the total amount of the wages found to be due for a willful violation of section one hundred ninety-four of this article. In any action instituted in the courts upon a wage claim by an employee or the commissioner in which the employee prevails, the court shall allow such employee to recover the full amount of any underpayment, all reasonable attorney's fees, prejudgment interest as required under the civil practice law and rules, and, unless the employer proves a good faith basis to believe that its underpayment of wages was in compliance with the law, an additional amount as liquidated damages equal to one hundred percent of the total amount of the wages found to be due, except such liquidated damages may be up to three hundred percent of the total amount of the wages found to be due for a willful violation of section one hundred ninety-four of this article.

  1-b. If any employee is not provided within ten business days of his or her first day of employment a notice as required by subdivision one of section one hundred ninety-five of this article, he or she may recover in a civil action damages of fifty dollars for each work day that the violations occurred or continue to occur, but not to exceed a total of five thousand dollars, together with costs and reasonable attorney's fees. The court may also award other relief, including injunctive and declaratory relief, that the court in its discretion deems necessary or appropriate.

  On behalf of any employee not provided a notice as required by subdivision one of section one hundred ninety-five of this article, the commissioner may bring any legal action necessary, including administrative action, to collect such claim, and as part of such legal action, in addition to any other remedies and penalties otherwise available under this article, the commissioner may assess against the employer damages of fifty dollars for each work day that the violations occurred or continue to occur, but not to exceed a total of five thousand dollars. In any action or administrative proceeding to recover damages for violation of paragraph (a) of subdivision one of section one hundred ninety-five of this article, it shall be an affirmative defense that (i) the employer made complete and timely payment of all wages due pursuant to this article or article nineteen or article nineteen-A of this chapter to the employee who was not provided notice as required by subdivision one of section one hundred ninety-five of this article or (ii) the employer reasonably believed in good faith that it was not required to provide the employee with notice pursuant to subdivision one of section one hundred ninety-five of this article.

  1-d. If any employee is not provided a statement or statements as required by subdivision three of section one hundred ninety-five of this article, he or she shall recover in a civil action damages of two hundred fifty dollars for each work day that the violations occurred or continue to occur, but not to exceed a total of five thousand dollars, together with costs and reasonable attorney's fees. The court may also award other relief, including injunctive and declaratory relief, that the court in its discretion deems necessary or appropriate.

  On behalf of any employee not provided a statement as required by subdivision three of section one hundred ninety-five of this article, the commissioner may bring any legal action necessary, including administrative action, to collect such claim, and as part of such legal action, in addition to any other remedies and penalties otherwise available under this article, the commissioner may assess against the employer damages of two hundred fifty dollars for each work day that the violations occurred or continue to occur, but not to exceed a total of five thousand dollars. In any action or administrative proceeding to recover damages for violation of subdivision three of section one hundred ninety-five of this article, it shall be an affirmative defense that (i) the employer made complete and timely payment of all wages due pursuant to this article or articles nineteen or nineteen-A of this chapter to the employee who was not provided statements as required by subdivision three of section one hundred ninety-five of this article or (ii) the employer reasonably believed in good faith that it was not required to provide the employee with statements pursuant to paragraph (e) of subdivision one of section one hundred ninety-five of this article.

  2. The remedies provided by this article may be enforced simultaneously or consecutively so far as not inconsistent with each other.

  3. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, an action to recover upon a liability imposed by this article must be commenced within six years. The statute of limitations shall be tolled from the date an employee files a complaint with the commissioner or the commissioner commences an investigation, whichever is earlier, until an order to comply issued by the commissioner becomes final, or where the commissioner does not issue an order, until the date on which the commissioner notifies the complainant that the investigation has concluded. Investigation by the commissioner shall not be a prerequisite to nor a bar against a person bringing a civil action under this section. All employees shall have the right to recover full wages, benefits and wage supplements and liquidated damages accrued during the six years previous to the commencing of such action, whether such action is instituted by the employee or by the commissioner.

  4. In any civil action by an employee or by the commissioner, the employee or commissioner shall have the right to collect attorney's fees and costs incurred in enforcing any court judgment. Any judgment or court order awarding remedies under this section shall provide that if any amounts remain unpaid upon the expiration of ninety days following issuance of judgment, or ninety days after expiration of the time to appeal and no appeal is then pending, whichever is later, the total amount of judgment shall automatically increase by fifteen percent.