Senate Acts to Penalize, Prevent Wage Theft

The New York State Senate passed legislation to back New York’s construction workers in their fight against wage theft, and help those seeking justice to navigate their claims against such crimes. The legislation holds contractors accountable and increases the likelihood that construction workers can secure the payments and collect the unpaid wages and benefits they are due. These measures build on the Senate Majority’s continued advocacy for fair labor practices, and enhance the quality of life for all New Yorkers.

Read the Senate Majority release.

“Wage theft is a serious issue in which workers are cheated out of benefits they are rightfully owed,” Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said. “The Senate Democratic Majority will not let this be tolerated in New York. Every worker has the right to fair compensation and to seek the recovery of earned wages without fear of retaliation. I thank Senator Ramos for her leadership on this issue, and the Senate Democratic Majority will continue to provide the necessary protections and support New Yorkers need to ensure that their paychecks reflect their hard work.”

Bill Sponsor, and Chair of the Senate Committee on Labor, Senator Jessica Ramos, said, “An honest day's pay for an honest day's work. Under the incredible leadership of our Senate Majority Leader, the New York State Senate is taking action to protect construction workers from the hundreds of millions of dollars that are stolen them every year by unscrupulous contractors and subcontractors—reaffirming the Senate Democratic Majority’s commitment to prioritizing the rights of workers across our state.”

The legislation amends existing wage theft law to require general contractors to assume joint and several liability for any debt resulting from making a wage claim, owed to a wage claimant or third party on the wage claimant's behalf. General contractors will also gain new authority to oversee the books of subcontractors in order to better ensure that workers are being paid all owed wages.

Senators Involved

35th Senate District

13th Senate District