Continuing a busy summer of changes, on July 29, 2019, Governor Cuomo signed an amendment to New York state’s Labor Law that adds protections for employees who complain of suspected wage-and-hour violations. The amendment is designed to shield immigrant workers who report potential violations of wage-and-hour laws, or otherwise assist investigators in a wage-and-hour investigation by the state’s Department of Labor.

Under the law, employers cannot “threaten, penalize,” or in any other way “discriminate or retaliate” against an employee that raises a wage-and-hour complaint. The amendment adds to that rule by specifically prohibiting employers from threatening to contact Federal immigration authorities, or from reporting an employee’s suspected citizenship or immigration status to immigration authorities.

The law goes into effect on October 27, 2019.

This alert does not purport to be a substitute for advice of counsel on specific matters.

Harris Beach has offices throughout New York State, including Albany, Buffalo, Ithaca, Melville, New York City, Rochester, Saratoga Springs, Syracuse, Uniondale and White Plains, as well as New Haven, Connecticut and Newark, New Jersey.