In 2009, Mr. Patricia Smith, later an attorney for the U.S. Department of Labor, was Commissioner of Labor. In 2016, as part of the 2016-17 state budget, Governor Cuomo signed a bill enacting a $15 national minimum wage plan. On December 31, 2016, the first in a series of wage increases came into effect.  In 1937, the power of the DOL Industrial Board to make rules and grant waivers was transferred to the Board of Standards and Appeals. The Industrial Board remained responsible only for workers` compensation cases. The Labour Relations Board was formed at that time to oversee relations between workers and management, and the State Mediation Board was established to mediate labour disputes and to continue the services provided since 1886. Also in 1937, New York passed a minimum wage law that protected women and miners. On July 11, 1913, thirty-three women and two men lost their lives in the Binghamton Clothing Company fire. The Triangle and Binghamton tragedies spurred labour legislation, and the state constitution was amended on November 4 to allow for a workers` compensation bill.
The Office of the Lawyer provides legal and advice to the Commissioner of Labour and Programs within the Department. The law firm`s lawyers represent the Commissioner in administrative hearings related to underpayment of wages and overtime, safety and health offences, licence suspension or revocation, and other matters. In 2007, NYS`s last minimum wage increase from $5.15 to $7.25 went into effect, and workers` compensation reform went into effect. NYS UI applicants received direct payment cards for unemployment benefits, and recipients also had the option to receive benefit payments via direct deposit instead of a direct payment card. Also in 2007, the Office of Immigrant Workers` Rights (now the Division of Policy and Immigrant Affairs) was established to meet the growing needs of guest workers throughout the state. NYSOL won a pay hours lawsuit against a New Jersey farm for violating H-2A provisions of the Immigration and Citizenship Act, which sets the minimum wage and standard of living for employers of nonimmigrant farm workers. Sun Valley Orchards illegally exposed workers to unsanitary, dangerous and abusive living conditions, then fired many workers in the middle of the season for no reason and forced workers to sign false statements. The administrative judge awarded $344,945 in unpaid wages and $211,800 in penalties for these violations.www.dol.gov/newsroom/releases/whd/whd20191121 In 2010, the NYS Construction Industry Fair Play Act, which made it illegal for an employer to falsely classify employees as independent contractors or pay employees off the books, and the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights were passed. The first law of its kind in the nation. In the wake of the September 11 terrorist attack, the DOL mobilized to work with state, federal, and New York agencies to support relief and recovery efforts. Thanks to a $25 million national emergency grant, NYSDOL was able to provide basic services to victims and displaced workers.
An amendment to the state constitution in 1926 reorganized the more than 180 scattered departments, offices, committees, and commissioners of the state government into 18 departments, including the Department of Labor. In addition, unemployment insurance claims were posted on the Department`s website. The NY HERO Act is designed to prevent current and future occupational exposure to airborne infectious diseases in New York State workplaces. In 1987, the DOL began regulating asbestos control activities in the state. In May 2015, acting labor commissioner Mario Musolino appointed a state wage commission to investigate the wages of fast-food workers.   In July, the Commission released a report recommending a $15 per hour minimum wage for fast food workers, and in September 2015, Interim Commissioner Musolino issued an Order in Council accepting the recommendations.   Effective December 31, 2015, the Ministry adopted amended consolidated regulations (12 NYCRR Part 146) to implement the report and order.  The New York Regional Lawyer`s Office employs approximately 36 lawyers and 8 legal support staff.
The New York Regional Office of the Attorney is responsible for most civil litigation and legal support to the U.S. Department of Labor for issues raised in the following states: The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 established a national minimum wage standard and a forty-hour workweek. and in the same year, an amendment to the New York State Constitution introduced a “bill of rights” for workers. The Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board (UIAB) was also established in 1938 to hear complaints from claimants or employers who were not satisfied with the Department`s administrative decisions.  To assess the adequacy of the statutory minimum wage, indicators comparing the gross minimum wage to 60% of the gross median wage and 50% of the gross gross wage are often used internationally.  UI tax reports provide samples for federal OEWS and QCEW data, but gig workers (e.g., in the platform economy) are generally classified as independent contractors and are therefore not included in this or other federal data.  The Research and Statistics Division administers the monthly national labour cost index and the transnational annual composite labour market wage rate.  Each employer must keep for six years the payslips of covered employees, containing up-to-date data for each week worked: hours worked, rates of pay, gross wages, deductions, minimum wage allowances and take-home pay.  On March 25, 2021, former Governor Cuomo signed the Healthy Terminals Act, which now establishes specific standards for wage rates for workers at covered airports in New York State.
In 1991, New York State became the first state in the United States to require permission from school and parents so teens could work after 10 p.m. In 1992, it also became the first state of the United States. Establish enforceable policies to protect public sector employees from tuberculosis in the workplace. NYSOL has received $375,000 in compensation for a whistleblower who was fired for cooperating with federal investigators and reporting safety issues related to a maritime explosion. OSHA`s whistleblower protection program found that a New York-based tanker illegally retaliated against the worker. Under the regulation, the company was also required to publish infringement notices and inform its officers and employees of their rights.www.dol.gov/newsroom/releases/osha/osha20210401 The Vocational Training Partnership Act (JTPA) of 1982 replaced CETA. The new legislation provided municipalities with federal funding for skills training. In 2005, the Ministry of Labour`s Garment Industry Task Force expanded to become the Fair Wage Task Force and was extended to restaurants, laundries, grocery stores and gardening services.
It was also at this time that the Fair Wages Task Force was formed to investigate industries where wages were low and workers were susceptible to exploitation. In its first year, the Fair Wage Task Force conducted more than 400 investigations and found more than $5.3 million due to nearly 5,100 underpaid workers. NYSOL received more than $2.6 million in unpaid wages, lump sum damages and civil fines for overtime and other violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) by three prominent horse racing trainers.