Gov. Andrew Cuomo has announced that more than $35 million was returned to victims of wage theft in 2017.

It was announced that $35,370,000 was returned to 36,446 victims of wage theft in 2017.

In addition, $1 million in continued funding was secured in the 2019 budget to support the expansion of the Department of Labor's staff of investigators.

"We have zero tolerance for those who seek to rob employees out of an honest day's pay for an honest day's work," Cuomo said. "These workers are commonly among the most vulnerable members of the New York family and I want them to know this administration is and will continue to do everything in its power to protect them from these unscrupulous tactics and to ensure they are paid what they are owed."

To further wage recovery efforts, Mediation and Anti-Retaliation Units were developed within the Department of Labor.

The Mediation Unit attempts to expedite resolutions so that workers receive the money they're owed faster, while the Anti-Retaliation Unit acts on behalf of workers who are subject to unfavorable action against them for filing a complaint about labor law violations or reporting them to the authorities.

Some of the most common ways employers steal wages include:

  • Paying tips only
  • Paying a day rate for work performed that is sub-minimum wage when hours worked are counted
  • Not paying an overtime rate for hours worked over 40 in a payroll week
  • Failure to pay the correct prevailing wage
  • Withholding final paychecks
  • Not paying for training time
  • charging employees for requiring uniforms or equipment

If you have information about potential prevailing wage fraud contact the Department of Labor.