More than $35 million was returned to 36,446 victims of wage theft last year, according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
In the region, the state returned more than $4 million to 2,389 wage theft victims according to this report.
In addition, $1 million in continued funding was secured in the Fiscal Year 2019 budget to support the expansion of the Department of Labor's staff of investigators, Cuomo said.
In 2016, $34 million was returned to 27,420 wage theft victims, marking an increase of over $1.3 million returned to an additional 9,026 victims.
Since Cuomo took office, the state has recovered and returned $258 million to 215,335 workers -- the highest total in the nation.
"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 in a press statement. "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."
Some victims are subjected to unsafe or unsanitary working conditions; long and irregular work hours; and illegal deductions for supplies, training, and uniforms. Additionally, they tend to work off the books, have dangerous jobs and are often geographically isolated.
State Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon said, "The New York State Department of Labor is committed to the protection of workers. Under Governor Cuomo's leadership, we've taken unprecedented action to ensure that those who have wages stolen get what they're owed and I applaud the dedicated investigators who have helped build New York's reputation as a national leader in the fight against wage theft."
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