New York Labor Law requires employers to pay manual workers on a weekly basis. Further, this requirement means that employees must receive their pay no later than one week after they perform the work. There are exceptions to this rule, which is why consulting with an employment law attorney is helpful to determine if your employment rights have been violated. While these standards have been in place for some time, recent cases have reignited attention and action associated with these workers’ rights.
Vega and the Case for On-time Payment
Vega v. CM & Associates Construction Management LLC was a landmark case for this issue. The New York Appellate Court determined that even though Vega was ultimately paid the wages they were due, the tardiness of the payment meant that Vega was also due liquidated damages. The Court’s decision in this case means that manual workers who are not paid timely could be entitled to damages equal to the amount of their late payment. For example, if your employer was late paying your $1,000 weekly pay, you may be able to recover another $1,000 in compensation for the late payment. The Vega case paved the way for other workers in similar situations to stand up for their right to on-time payment.
Cases Following Vega
After the Vega decision, numerous cases and class action lawsuits were initiated as more workers felt empowered to stand up for their rights. A handful of these cases established that a private right of action exists for late wages. Before this, the general consensus was that only workers who were due unpaid wages could pursue legal action to obtain their money. Now, courts are repeatedly upholding the principle that late-paid workers deserve damages. For example, this has been seen in Mabe v. Wal-Mart Assocs., Inc. and Sorto v. Diversified Maint. Sys., LLC.
This is good news for manual workers throughout New York because now employers are beginning to realize that paying their employees late could have consequences. Previously, the repercussions associated with late wage payments were minimal and unmotivating for many companies. As a result, employers will hopefully take timely payment more seriously now that lawsuits and civil penalties are possible.
Late wages can significantly impact workers and their households, leading to late rent payments, overdue bills, and an inability to cover life’s daily expenses. If your employer has failed to pay you on a weekly basis, use this link to contact Orin Kurtz, with Gardy & Notis's Employment Division, or call 917-810-4303.
Gardy & Notis, LLP is located in New York, NY and serves clients in and around New York, Manhattan, Long Island City, Astoria, Sunnyside, Woodside, Maspeth, Jackson Heights, Brooklyn, Middle Village, Bronx, Elmhurst, East Elmhurst, Ridgewood, Corona, Rego Park, College Point, Forest Hills, Flushing, Woodhaven, Ozone Park, Whitestone, Kew Gardens, Bronx County, Kings County, New York County, Schoharie County, Delaware County, Otsego County, Albany, Oneonta, Cobleskill, Jefferson, Harpersfield, Hudson, Rhinebeck, Poughkeepsie, Buffalo, Rome, Syracuse, and throughout New York State and the country.
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