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New York Cracking Down on Worker Exploitation'
From Bloomberg BNA Construction Labor Reports written by Gerald B. Silverman. July 20 — New York state will expand its efforts to crack down on unpaid wages, dangerous health and safety conditions, and other forms of worker exploitation, under an executive order signed by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (D) July 20. The order and new programs announced by the governor will focus on state labor law violations in 15 targeted industries and involve coordinated enforcement and investigations by 13 state agencies. The effort expands on an existing crackdown in the nail salon industry as well as in the restaurant, dry cleaning, construction, landscaping and domestic worker sectors. The state will widen its efforts to cover the airport, home health care, retail, trucking, waste disposal and other industries. The executive order signed by Cuomo establishes a permanent Joint Task Force on Employee Misclassification and Worker Exploitation. The task force reflects a merger of three temporary task forces—the Task Force to Combat Worker Exploitation, the Nail Salon Industry Enforcement Task Force, and the Joint Enforcement Task Force on Employee Misclassification. Annual Report Cuomo also released the annual report of the Task Force to Combat Worker Exploitation, which found that the state collected $4 million in unpaid wages and damages in the past year for 7,500 workers. Cuomo also said New York will be providing $5 million in grants for community organizations such as occupational health centers and legal service centers to assist workers. Cuomo's announcement was widely applauded by labor and immigrant groups. It was also praised by Kathryn Wylde, president and chief executive officer of the Partnership for New York City, a business group. “The Task Force to End Worker Exploitation has made tremendous strides towards ending worker exploitation,” she said in a statement. “Protecting vulnerable workers and guaranteeing equitable treatment is in everyone's best interests, including businesses. By bringing employers, advocates, and union leaders together to work through these issues, we avoid contentious situations and we ensure that all parties are treated fairly.” To contact the reporter on this story: Gerald B. Silverman in Albany, N.Y., at gsilverman@bna.com To contact the editor responsible for this story: Susan J. McGolrick at smcgolrick@bna.com
July 29, 2016

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