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This entry was published on 2021-09-10
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SECTION 198
Costs, remedies
Labor (LAB) CHAPTER 31, ARTICLE 6
§ 198. Costs, remedies. 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. There is no
exception to liability under this section for the unauthorized failure
to pay wages, benefits or wage supplements.

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.