Press Release By Cuomo Outlines Updates To Worker Exploitation Initiative

A press release by Governor Andrew Cuomo explained the year to date updates to his Task Force to Combat Worker Exploitation. The task force which is the first of its kind for New York State was announced back in July after an illuminating New York Times expose from May put a spotlight on labor abuses of New York nail salons. The release today outlined that the State has been able to recover $28.9 million dollars returned to over 24,000 workers claiming wage theft. By launching over 450 investigations in a number of industries including agriculture, car washes, construction, restaurants, and nail salons, over 2,700 violations were uncovered such as failure to pay minimum wage, failure to pay overtime, tip theft, and failure to protect workers with mandatory workers compensation. Charlene Obernauer, executive director of the New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health stated regarding the efforts, “Investigating safety and health problems in the workplace is crucial to fighting worker exploitation, especially in industries where improvements are needed most. Under the Governor’s leadership, what began with groundbreaking work in the nail salon industry is now a Task Force dedicated to improving the quality of life for workers in many industries across the State.”

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