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Wage Theft Legislation Passes in New York

The New York State Assembly recently passed anti-wage theft legislation similar to bills currently before the Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development at the Massachusetts State House. Five other states including California, Nevada, Maryland, New Jersey, and Virginia have also passed similar legislation.

This is why the AGC MA has been working with the North Atlantic State Regional Council of Carpenters to forge a compromise to the wage theft language currently at the State House.

The original language makes general contractors liable for wage violations by subcontractors with a 3-year lookback period and no requirement for advanced notice to the general contractors. Under the compromise language forged with the Carpenters, AGC has gotten agreement on a number of items including:

  1. Requirement that notice be made to the General Contractor no more than 45 days from the last instance of wage theft.
  2. Joint liability only be given if the lead contractor fails to address claims of wage theft once they have received notice.
  3. A 120 day lookback for cumulative damages from the day of the last wage violation.
  4. That union benefit delinquencies will not be considered wage theft under the law.
  5. That there is no “double dipping” by making settlement with a GC and then filing separate charges in civil court or with the attorney general.
This compromise if successful would be prescient in light of the fact that New York General Contractors are likely to now have the worst case scenario imposed upon them.