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This entry was published on 2015-03-13
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SECTION 663
Civil action
Labor (LAB) CHAPTER 31, ARTICLE 19
§ 663. Civil action. 1. By employee. If any employee is paid by his or
her employer less than the wage to which he or she is entitled under the
provisions of this article, he or she shall recover in a civil action
the amount of any such underpayments, together with costs 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 of such underpayments found to be due. Any
agreement between the employee, and the employer to work for less than
such wage shall be no defense to such action.

2. By commissioner. On behalf of any employee paid less than the wage
to which the employee is entitled under the provisions of this article,
the commissioner may bring any legal action necessary, including
administrative action, to collect such claim, and the employer shall be
required to pay the full amount of the underpayment, plus costs, and
unless the employer proves a good faith basis to believe that its
underpayment was in compliance with the law, an additional amount as
liquidated damages. Liquidated damages shall be calculated by the
commissioner as no more than one hundred percent of the total amount of
underpayments found to be due the employee. In any action brought by the
commissioner in a court of competent jurisdiction, liquidated damages
shall be calculated as an amount equal to one hundred percent of
underpayments found to be due the employee.

3. Limitation of time. 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
article.

4. Attorneys' fees. In any civil action by an employee or by the
commissioner, the employee or commissioner shall have the right to
collect attorneys' 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 therefrom is then
pending, whichever is later, the total amount of judgment shall
automatically increase by fifteen percent.