April 16, 2014

Proposed New York Bill Increases Penalties for Wage Withholding

In January 2013, Democratic Assemblywoman, Annette Robinson, introduced a bill that would allow employees who are underpaid to recover up to twice the amount of wages due in liquidated damages and to seek such damages through a class action lawsuit.

The proposed bill (A2499) amends current labor law, targeting employers who fail to pay employees their legally owed wages. If such underpayment of wages persists for more than thirty days or involves ten or more employees, then the affected employees would be able to seek liquidated damages that are twice the amount due in addition to repayment of wages owed. Additionally, the bill would authorize such employees to form a class action to recover the appropriate damages.

The bill has been referred to the Assembly Committee on Labor, and must pass standard bureaucratic hurdles before becoming enacted. If signed into law, the bill would officially take effect 90 days later.

The proposed legislation mirrors a similar bill (A5381) passed by the New Jersey Assembly in December 2012 that we previously reported on here. The New Jersey bill would only obligate employers to pay liquidated damages of up to 100% of any wages owed, with additional fines possible based on the number and frequency of the offenses. The New Jersey Senate has since referred the bill to its Labor Committee. Although neither bill has passed, they both have significant financial implications for employers in New York and New Jersey. We will continue to monitor the progress of both bills and update you accordingly.

*Brian Garrett, co-contributor to this article, is a law clerk at Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP currently admitted to the New Jersey Bar and awaiting admission to the Bar of the State of New York.

Copyright © 2014, Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP.

About the Author


Lisa Lewis is an associate in the Labor and Employment Practice Group and the Business Trial Practice Group in the firm's New York Office, as well as a member of the firm-wide International Arbitration Group.


Boost: AJAX core statistics

Legal Disclaimer

You are responsible for reading, understanding and agreeing to the National Law Review's (NLR’s) and the National Law Forum LLC's  Terms of Use and Privacy Policy before using the National Law Review website. The National Law Review is a free to use, no-log in database of legal and business articles. The content and links on are intended for general information purposes only. Any legal analysis, legislative updates or other content and links should not be construed as legal or professional advice or a substitute for such advice. No attorney-client or confidential relationship is formed by the transmission of information between you and the National Law Review website or any of the law firms, attorneys or other professionals or organizations who include content on the National Law Review website. If you require legal or professional advice, kindly contact an attorney or other suitable professional advisor.  

Some states have laws and ethical rules regarding solicitation and advertisement practices by attorneys and/or other professionals. The National Law Review is not a law firm nor is  intended to be  a referral service for attorneys and/or other professionals. The NLR does not wish, nor does it intend, to solicit the business of anyone or to refer anyone to an attorney or other professional.  NLR does not answer legal questions nor will we refer you to an attorney or other professional if you request such information from us. 

Under certain state laws the following statements may be required on this website and we have included them in order to be in full compliance with these rules. The choice of a lawyer or other professional is an important decision and should not be based solely upon advertisements. Attorney Advertising Notice: Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. Statement in compliance with Texas Rules of Professional Conduct. Unless otherwise noted, attorneys are not certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, nor can NLR attest to the accuracy of any notation of Legal Specialization or other Professional Credentials.

The National Law Review - National Law Forum LLC 4700 Gilbert Ave. Suite 47 #230 Western Springs, IL 60558  Telephone  (708) 357-3317 If you would ike to contact us via email please click here.