This bill has been amended

Bill S3497-2013

Increases civil and criminal penalties for failure to pay wages or to differentiate the rate of pay based on sex

Increases civil and criminal penalties for failure to pay wages or to differentiate the rate of pay based on sex; directs the commissioner of labor to study and report upon wage differential among men and women, and between minorities and non-minorities.

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Actions

  • Jan 8, 2014: REFERRED TO LABOR
  • Feb 4, 2013: REFERRED TO LABOR

Memo

BILL NUMBER:S3497

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the labor law, in relation to increasing the fines for employers not lawfully paying the wages of his or her employees; and to direct the commissioner of labor to issue a report on wage differential among men and women and between minorities and non-minorities

PURPOSE: To increase civil and criminal penalties for failures to pay wages or to differentiate the rate Of pay based on sex.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Section 1- Increases the civil penalties under section 197-a of the labor law from $500.00 to $1000.00.

Section 2- Increases the criminal penalties under section 198-a of the labor law from $500.00 to not more than $20,000 to $1,000 to not more than $25,000 and subsequent violation occurring within 6 years resulting in felony is now reduce to five years for felony application.

Section 3- Requires the Commissioner of Labor, in consultation with the Empire State Development Corporation, Department of Civil Service, and other state agencies, together with the Business Council and the New York State AFL-C10, a statewide women's economic empowerment organization and any other group or organization the commissioner may deem appropriate, shall issue a report by May 1, 2013.

Among the issues to be reviewed by the Commissioner shall include, but not limited to:

- research of the trends in this area in the public and private sector including labor organizations within the State of New York;

- identify the major issues relating to wage differential within the public and private sector including cost to the state, local governmental units and private sector businesses for compliance with wage differential compliance;

- providing legislative and policy recommendations regarding wage differential including sanctions and penalties;

- issues concerning the enforcement and adequacy of current state laws related to such issues, including section 194 of the labor law;

- laws and policies in other states that deal with the wage differential and wage discrimination and;

- investigation of the relative weight of discrimination and other factors that may lead to the wage differential.

Section 4- Contains the effective date

EXISTING LAW: Currently, civil fine is $500.00 and criminal fine is $500.00

JUSTIFICATION: Two comparable worth studies were undertaken in 1985; one in New York State and one in California. The New York Study was utilized to propose changing civil service grade levels of many titles.

Many of the California findings which consisted of literature review and public testimony were restated in the 2003 Government Accounting Office (GAO).

There exists a need in 2012 for a comprehensive review and examination of this issue.

Nonetheless, increases in the penalties and fines for civil and criminal violations should not have to await the outcome of any study.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2012: 7351-A Committed to Rules 2008: S.7521 Passed Senate

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None

EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 3497 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE February 4, 2013 ___________
Introduced by Sen. LITTLE -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Labor AN ACT to amend the labor law, in relation to increasing the fines for employers not lawfully paying the wages of his or her employees; and to direct the commissioner of labor to issue a report on wage differ- ential among men and women and between minorities and non-minorities THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Section 197 of the labor law, as amended by chapter 564 of the laws of 2010, is amended to read as follows: S 197. Civil penalty. Any employer who fails to pay the wages of his employees or shall differentiate in rate of pay because of sex, as provided in this article, shall forfeit to the people of the state the sum of [five hundred] ONE THOUSAND dollars for each such failure, to be recovered by the commissioner in any legal action necessary, including administrative action or a civil action. S 2. Subdivision 1 of section 198-a of the labor law, as amended by chapter 564 of the laws of 2010, is amended to read as follows: 1. Every employer who does not pay the wages of all of his employees in accordance with the provisions of this chapter, and the officers and agents of any corporation, partnership, or limited liability company who knowingly permit the corporation, partnership, or limited liability company to violate this chapter by failing to pay the wages of any of its employees in accordance with the provisions thereof, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor for the first offense and upon conviction therefor shall be fined not less than [five hundred] ONE THOUSAND nor more than [twenty] TWENTY-FIVE thousand dollars or imprisoned for not more than one year, and, in the event that any second or subsequent offense occurs within [six] FIVE years of the date of conviction for a prior offense, shall be guilty of a felony for the second or subsequent offense, and upon conviction therefor, shall be fined not less than [five hundred]
ONE THOUSAND nor more than [twenty] TWENTY-FIVE thousand dollars or imprisoned for not more than one year plus one day, or punished by both such fine and imprisonment, for each such offense. An indictment of a person or corporation operating a steam surface railroad for an offense specified in this section may be found and tried in any county within the state in which such railroad ran at the time of such offense. S 3. The commissioner of labor, in consultation with the empire state development corporation, department of civil service and other state agencies, together with the New York state business council and New York state AFL-CIO, a statewide women's economic empowerment organization and any other group or organization that the commissioner of labor may consult with, shall issue or cause to be issued to the governor, tempo- rary president of the senate, speaker of the assembly and the respective chair of the labor committee in the senate and assembly a report on or before May 1, 2014 on issues relating to the wage differential between men and women and between minorities and non-minorities in the same job and jobs that are dissimilar but that required equivalent composites of skill, welfare, responsibility and working in the New York state job market. Such report shall include, but not be limited to: (a) researching the trends in this area in the public and private sector including labor organizations within the state; (b) identifying the major issues relating to wage differential within the public and private sector including cost to the state, local govern- mental units and private sector businesses for compliance with wage differential compliance; (c) providing legislative and policy recommendations regarding wage differential including sanctions and penalties; (d) issues concerning the enforcement and adequacy of current state laws related to such issues, including section 194 of the labor law; (e) laws and policies in other states that deal with the wage differ- ential and with wage discrimination; and (f) investigation of the relative weight of discrimination and other factors that may lead to the wage differential. S 4. This act shall take effect immediately.

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