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SECTION 655
Wage board; procedure; report
Labor (LAB) CHAPTER 31, ARTICLE 19
§ 655. Wage board; procedure; report. 1. Wage board. A wage board
shall be composed of not more than three representatives of employers,
an equal number of representatives of employees and an equal number of
persons selected from the general public. The commissioner shall
appoint the members of the board, the representatives of the employers
and employees to be selected so far as practicable from nominations
submitted by employers and employees in such occupation or occupations.
The commissioner shall designate as the chairman one of the members
selected from the general public. The members of the board shall not
receive a salary or other compensation, but shall be paid actual and
necessary traveling expenses while engaged in the performance of their
duties.

2. Organization. The chairman of the board is authorized to delegate
to a panel of the members, composed of an equal number of employer,
employee and public members, any or all of the powers which the board
itself may exercise, except as otherwise provided in subdivision four of
this section. Two-thirds of the members of the board or of a panel, as
the case may be, shall constitute a quorum. The commissioner may from
time to time formulate rules governing the manner in which the wage
board shall function and perform its duties under this article.

3. Powers. The wage board shall have power to conduct public hearings.
The board may also consult with employers and employees, and their
respective representatives, in the occupation or occupations involved,
and with such other persons, including the commissioner, as it shall
determine. The board shall also have power to administer oaths and to
require by subpoena the attendance and testimony of witnesses, and the
production of all books, records, and other evidence relative to any
matters under inquiry. Such subpoenas shall be signed and issued by the
chairman of the board, or any other public member, and shall be served
and have the same effect as if issued out of the supreme court. The
board shall have power to cause depositions of witnesses residing within
or without the state to be taken in the manner prescribed for like
depositions in civil actions in the supreme court. The board shall not
be bound by common law or statutory rules of procedure or evidence.

4. Report. Within forty-five days of the appointment of the wage board
to inquire into wages in any occupation or occupations, the board shall
(a) conduct public hearings and (b) submit to the commissioner a report,
including its recommendations as to minimum wages and regulations for
the employees in such occupation or occupations. The report and
recommendations of the board shall be submitted only after a vote of not
less than a majority of all its members in support of such report and
recommendations. No report or recommendation of a panel shall be
submitted without the prior vote of not less than a majority of all the
members of the board in support of such report or recommendation. The
commissioner may extend up to ninety days the time in which the report
shall be submitted.

5. Minimum wage recommendations. (a) The minimum wage recommended by
the wage board shall not be in excess of an amount sufficient to provide
adequate maintenance and to protect the health of the employees. In no
event, however, shall any minimum wage recommended by the board be less
than the wage specified in section six hundred fifty-two of this
chapter, except (1) as expressly otherwise provided in paragraph (c) of
this subdivision, and (2) where the board finds conditions of employment
are such as to make an hourly rate impracticable, in which event the
board may recommend a wage rate other than an hourly rate, provided that
such recommended rate carries out the purposes of this article and
safeguards the minimum wage specified in section six hundred fifty-two
of this chapter. The board may classify employments in any occupation
according to the nature of the work rendered and recommend minimum wages
in accordance with such classification. The board may also recommend a
minimum wage varying with localities if, in the judgment of the board,
conditions make such variation appropriate.

(b) In addition to recommendations for minimum wages, the wage board
may recommend such regulations as it deems appropriate to carry out the
purposes of this article and to safeguard minimum wages. Such
recommended regulations may include regulations defining the exclusions
from the term "employee" set forth in subdivision five of section six
hundred fifty-one. Such recommended regulations may also include, but
are not limited to, regulations governing piece rates, incentives, and
commissions in relation to time rates; overtime or part-time rates;
waiting time and call-in pay rates; wage rate provisions governing split
shift, excessive spread of hours and weekly guarantees; and allowances
for gratuities and, when furnished by the employer to his employees, for
meals, lodging, apparel and other such items, services and facilities.

(c) The wage board may also recommend, to the extent necessary in
order to prevent curtailment of opportunities for employment,
regulations for (1) the employment of learners and apprentices, under
special certificates issued by the commissioner, at such wages lower
than the minimum wage established by this article and subject to such
limitations as to time, number, proportion and length of service as
shall be prescribed in such regulation, (2) the employment of
individuals whose earning capacity is affected or impaired by youth or
age or by physical or mental deficiency or injury, under special
certificates issued by the commissioner, at such wages lower than the
minimum wage established by this article and for such period as shall be
prescribed in such regulation, (3) the establishment of a period not
extending beyond seventeen consecutive weeks during which a resort hotel
or camp may employ students under special certificates issued by the
commissioner, at such wages lower than the minimum wage established by
this article as shall be prescribed in such regulation, and (4) the
employment of residential employees in a non-profit making religious,
charitable or educational organization or in a non-profit making college
or university sorority or fraternity under special certificates issued
by the commissioner at such weekly wage as shall be prescribed in such
regulation.