Senate Acts to Penalize, Prevent Wage Theft

ALBANY, NY — The Senate Democratic Majority today passed legislation to aid New York’s construction workers in the fight against wage theft and help those seeking justice to navigate their claims against such crimes. This legislation will hold contractors accountable and increase the likelihood that exploited workers in the construction industry will secure payment and collect unpaid wages and benefits for work that has already been performed. This bill builds on the conference’s continued advocacy for fair labor practices and to enhance the quality of life for all New Yorkers.

“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 passed by the Senate Majority, S.2766C, sponsored by Senator Jessica Ramos, will amend the existing wage theft law and 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.