Exterior view of the Department of Labor building on the Harriman Campus in Albany, NY.

About Us

Mission

We Are Your DOL, Transforming New York's World of Work

Our mission is to provide outstanding services to our customers - the workers and businesses that call New York home - as they seek to grow and thrive in our modern economy.

We help New Yorkers find the careers they will love by connecting them to new job opportunities, referring them to training opportunities that build their skills, and by ensuring they are paid the proper wage and have a safe working environment when they're on the job.

We support and help businesses grow by providing free human resources assistance, working with them to find the qualified workers they need to thrive, and keeping them informed about new incentives and tax credits that can help keep overhead low.

We educate immigrant workers, protect farm laborers and monitor conditions in high-risk industries.

We enforce the wage and hour law to make sure that every worker gets what they're owed.

We help New Yorkers who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own with Unemployment Insurance and do everything we can to get them back to a job they'll love as quickly as possible.

We are also New York's premier source for economic data, both current and historical.

We Are Your DOL.

Our Services

The mission of the New York State Department of Labor is to protect workers, assist the unemployed, and connect job seekers to jobs.

Protect

Division of Immigrant Policies and Affairs

The Division of Immigrant Policies and Affairs helps workers from other countries use the many programs and services of the Department of Labor. The staff can help you:

  • Look for a job
  • Get job-training assistance
  • Get outstanding wages you may be owed

We also assist migrant and seasonal farm workers as well as agricultural employers. For help call 877-466-9757.

Wage Protection

The Division of Labor Standards protects all workers, even if they are paid off the books or are not documented. We enforce the State Labor Law for:

  • Minimum wage
  • Hours of work
  • Child labor
  • Payment of wages and wage supplements
  • Migrant farm labor
  • Conditions in the garment industry

Public Work

The Bureau of Public Work administers the prevailing wage law. We:

  • Set the rates each year
  • Enforce the law

This law says workers must earn the prevailing wage rate if they are employed:

  • On public construction projects, or
  • At service jobs in public buildings

Safety & Health

The safety of New York's workforce is the Division of Safety & Health's number one priority. It offers safety and health information as well as assistance to employers and employees. It also issues licenses and certifications for a number of occupations.

Division of Equal Opportunity Development

The Division of Equal Opportunity Development develops and administers programs for affirmative action and equal employment opportunity. It ensures there is no discrimination in our programs, policies and practices.

Legal

Our Counsel's Office provides legal advice and counsel to our commissioner and our program units. The Administrative Adjudications Unit schedules hearings and provides resources for the Counsel's Office administrative proceedings.

Assist

Unemployment Insurance

If you are unemployed through no fault of your own, you may qualify for weekly benefit payments while you look for work. You can apply for unemployment benefits online or by calling 1-888-209-8124.

Research & Statistics

Our Labor Market Analysts provide data, facts and projections to help job seekers and businesses.

Connect

Division of Employment & Workforce Solutions

The Division of Employment & Workforce Solutions delivers services to job seekers and businesses statewide.

If you are a job seeker, we offer you resume help, career guidance, job placement and referrals. At New York State Career Centers, there are Resource Rooms where you can:

  • Use computers and faxes to job hunt
  • Explore training
  • Take aptitude tests
  • Link to partner agencies and services

If you are a business owner, you can take advantage of many services to help you with your workforce needs. These free services can save you thousands of dollars each year and include, but are not limited to:

  • Job postings on the New York State Job Bank
  • Customized recruitments and career fairs
  • Hiring incentives, tax credits and on-the-job training
  • Layoff aversion
  • Training

In apprenticeship programs, beginners learn a trade or skill from master level workers. They learn on the job and in the classroom. Available apprenticeship programs in New York State currently include more than 300 occupations in the building trades, manufacturing, and service occupations. We are responsible for approving all apprenticeship programs in New York State.

Commissioner Roberta Reardon

Commissioner Roberta Reardon

New York State Department of Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon was appointed by former Governor Andrew M. Cuomo in October 2015 to oversee the Department’s more than 3,300 employees. On June 15, 2016, Commissioner Reardon was unanimously confirmed by the New York State Senate.

Previously, Commissioner Reardon served as President of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) from 2007-2012. She was the founding Co-President of SAG-AFTRA, a 165,000-member union for the entertainment industry, when the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) merged with AFTRA in 2012. After stepping down from that position in late 2013, Commissioner Reardon consulted for the AFL-CIO as Special Liaison for Common Sense Economics. She also taught in the Cornell/CUNY Labor Relations Certificate program.

Commissioner Reardon is a former member of the Board of Trustees for the AFTRA Health and Retirement Fund, as well as the New York City Labor Council. She has been honored with the Jewish Labor Committee’s 2009 Human Rights Award as well as the New York City Central Labor Council’s 2012 Award for Service to the Labor Movement and was a recipient of the Cornell ILR School, Union Leadership Institute’s 2017 Change Maker Award.

Commissioner Reardon graduated from the Cornell Industrial and Labor Relations School’s New York State AFL-CIO/Cornell Union Leadership Institute and holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Wyoming. She is a Worker Institute Fellow at Cornell University and sits on the Board of Trustees for the Actors Fund of America.

History

Born from Fire!

Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire

On March 25, 1911, a fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist factory in New York City – lasting only half an hour – transformed how government protects workers. The company was in a building touted as fireproof. The conditions were hazardous -- operators had received many warnings. The owners refused to install sprinklers. They set up the factory for top output – not for safety.

Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire Centennial Logo

The fire killed 146 workers. They were mostly teenage girls who died because there was no safe way for them to escape. They were trapped on the top three floors of a 10-story building that had bad fire escapes and doors that opened in. Despite the deaths, the factory reopened three days later in the same building. That building still stands – a monument to the need for worker protection and safety.

The New York State Department of Labor of today was forged in that fire a century ago. It was the driving force behind state rules to set standards for:

  • Wages
  • Hours
  • Sanitary conditions
  • Workplace safety

After the Triangle fire, Frances Perkins led the drive for stronger safety measures. She was named New York State Commissioner of Labor in 1929 and later became United States Secretary of Labor in 1933. She was the first woman federal cabinet official. At a memorial on the 50th anniversary of the fire, Ms. Perkins said of the Triangle workers, “They did not die in vain, and we will never forget them.”

Image of Daisy Lopez Fitze Victim of the Triangle fire.

One victim of the Triangle fire was Daisy Lopez Fitze. She was a 22-year-old newlywed who was headed to Europe to start a new life with her husband. Daisy took a job at the Triangle Shirtwaist factory to save some extra money.

Saturday, March 25, 1911 was payday – and Daisy eagerly went to work. She never returned. Read her story, A Flower for Daisy, by her great-niece, Diana Fortuna.

For more details about the Trangle factory fire, visit these websites:

On the centennial of the fire, the New York Committee for Occupational Safety & Health produced Don't Mourn, Organize. It quotes leaders in worker safety and health, government, labor, education, and community organizations. Download a copy of the booklet.

New York State Nondiscrimination Plan

The New York State Department of Labor is committed to diversity, inclusion and equal opportunity.

Learn more about Equal Opportunity

Contact Us

For general inquiries please call us at:

(518) 457-9000

(888) 4-NYSDOL (888-469-7365)

(800) 662-1220 TTY/TTD

 

Contact the Department of Labor