"We started a picket at the nail salon to demand he stop transferring assets and pay the workers now. We held a press conference to send out a message and launched boycott but he still continued to do this and not pay the workers. We got the judgment but we cannot collect money. Workers don't have protection under the law and the law is only helping the rich people."
In one lawsuit brought by WJCNY on behalf of 106 food processing employees, the workers were unable to collect the final $100,000 of the $250,000 settlement after the defendant ceased paying according to the settlement agreement. After the plaintiffs successfully obtained a judgment for the remaining wages owed, the defendant owner closed the defendant corporation and upon the sale of the company’s remaining assets, transferred all its proceeds to another corporate entity held by a relative of the owner of the defendant corporation, which was not named in the original lawsuit. If the reforms proposed by bill no. A5501 had already been in place, the 106 employees may have been able to claim all the wages due to them by successfully attaching and preventing the sale of defendants’ assets.
"I thought the Department of Labor was so lazy and that they don't care about workers. I was thinking, what are they doing? What are they doing with all that time and with all these cases? Why don't they send my case to the Attorney General's office? My experience with the lawsuit was bad too- my boss declared bankruptcy. He tried to shut down the restaurant. He was lying to the court, even his bankruptcy was fake. We cannot collect the back wages, everything we were owed. I felt very angry because its not the truth. The bankruptcy was fake- me and my co-workers knew they they have a condominium, have 4 stores and he wrote a book "Hire the American Dream" and he makes a millions of dollars a year and he's a favorite of the corporation. And they do that because its very easy to declare bankruptcy."
"In one of our current cases, we represent a group of four carwash workers who are owed tens of thousands of dollars in unpaid wages and overtime. The case has been pending before the Eastern District of New York for three years, during which time the employer has been able to dissipate his assets. We are very confident of a judgment in favor of the workers, but fear that our clients’ quest for justice will be fruitless, since the employer will have successfully hidden his assets."
In a case that LatinoJustice PRLDEF and AALDEF won against the restaurant chain Kum Gang San, we secured a judgment in favor of Korean and Latino workers for $2.67 million, yet have been unable to collect as a result of defendants’ transfer of assets to avoid paying workers what they are owed. 2 The SWEAT bill, which was introduced by Assembly Member Linda Rosenthal, will expand existing mechanisms in New York law to better help workers collect the wages they are owed. Many low-wage workers, including Latino workers throughout the state, continue to be exploited by scrupulous employers who avoid paying lawful wages or damages once found liable for wage and hour violations.
The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo Governor of New York State New York State Capitol Building Albany, NY 12247 Re: Sign the SWEAT (Securing Wages Earned Against Theft) Bill (A.486/S.2844) Now! Dear Governor Cuomo, We, the undersigned organizations, write to urge the signing of the SWEAT bill (A.486/S.2844). We are unions, worker centers, legal services […]
Help get the SWEAT bill signed into law. Call Governor Cuomo and let him know you support the bill! Urge him to sign A486/S2844 into law immediately! (518) 474-8390
Workers, advocates and the Department of Labor are close to having the necessary tools to fight wage theft, which is costing NYS workers $1 billion each year. We just need Governor Cuomo to sign the bill into law now! Our statewide coalition came together to strengthen our laws so enforcement of labor laws is possible […]
At least 10 states permit workers to put a lien on an employer’s property in connection with a wage claim. By Chris Fuchs After waiting nearly a decade, Jin Ming Cao still hasn’t seen his money. Cao, a 36-year-old former waiter in Manhattan, had joined some of his co-workers in 2008 to sue their employer, a […]