We are deeply frustrated by the Governor’s decision to veto Securing Wages Earned Against Theft (SWEAT), a bill that would have helped low income New York workers recover wages owed to them by their employers. We strongly disagree with the reasons articulated in the veto message, but we will continue to work with the Governor in making SWEAT a reality in 2020. We express heartfelt thanks to Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal and Senator Jessica Ramos for their leadership.
SWEAT is a collection of effective tools to be used against unscrupulous employers who exploit New York’s legal system by hiding or drawing down monies lawfully owed to employees. The bill would close existing loopholes by expanding the well-established and legally sound procedures of New York’s mechanic’s lien law to apply to all workplaces so that workers can quickly put a temporary lien on an employer’s property for wages owed; make it simpler for employees to obtain a temporary property attachment order under judicial supervision during wage theft litigation; and strengthen procedures to hold large shareholders accountable for corporate wage theft. These core provisions must be part of any modification of the SWEAT bill.
The bottom line is clear: the status quo hurts New York workers who often cannot collect even pennies on their hard-earned dollar in spite of winning the legal process. It is profoundly immoral and unfair to workers and honest businesses. The status quo must change.
Contact the SWEAT Coalition to find out more.