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New State 'Wage Theft' Law

March 28, 2011

By Allan S. Bloom and Rebecca Raiser

The New York Wage Theft Prevention Act (WTPA) takes effect 0on April 9, 2011. The new law, part of a lame-duck legislation package signed by former Governor David A. Paterson in December 2010, amends the New York Labor Law in a number of significant respects. The WTPA modifies Articles 6, 7, and 19 on the Labor Law, most notably by: (1) increasing by fourfold the amount of liquidated damages an employee or the Commissioner of Labor can recover in an action for unpaid wages, (2) amplifying employers' existing notice and wage statement requirements, and (3) expanding both the substantive protections and the remedies available to employees under the anti-retaliation provisions of the Labor Law.