Legal

Overview

The Counsel's Office provides legal advice and counsel to the Commissioner of Labor and to programs within the Department. Attorneys in Counsel's Office represent the Commissioner in administrative hearings relating to underpayments of wages and overtime, safety and health violations, license suspension or revocation, and other matters.

The Counsel's Office is also responsible for promulgating regulations on behalf of the Department. It coordinates the Department's legislative program, developing Departmental legislation and working with the Governor's Office and the Legislature on bills that will impact the Department and working men and women in the State.

Counsel opinions represent the views of the Department at the time they were rendered. The opinions may no longer represent those views if, for example, there have been subsequent court cases or statutory amendments that bear on the issues discussed in the opinions. Opinions are no longer rendered by the Department of Labor.

The Administrative Adjudications Unit's Hearing Officers hold administrative hearings provided for in the Labor Law. After conducting a hearing, the Hearing Officer provides the Commissioner of Labor with a Report and Recommendation. The Commissioner then renders a final Determination and Order, which is issued pursuant to a Notice of Filing. The Commissioner's Determinations and supporting documents are available to the public.

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Initiatives
Protecting the Rights of New York's Workers
Construction Industry Fair Play Act

The New York State Construction Industry Fair Play Act took effect on October 26, 2010. The law creates a new standard for determining whether a worker is an employee or independent contractor in the construction industry. It provides new penalties for employers who fail to properly classify their employees.

Domestic Workers' Bill of Rights

The Domestic Workers Bill of Rights took effect on November 29, 2010. It is the first law of its kind in the nation. The law grants new rights and protections to domestic workers.