Collecting Unpaid Funds
The Department of Labor helps collect wages owed to workers who have not received the minimum wage, once they file a claim with us. Labor Standards investigates and endeavors to collect on claims for:
- Unpaid wages
- Withheld wages
- Illegal deductions
We also enforce the rules that forbid employers from:
- Taking illegal kickbacks from wages
- Appropriating tips
Our team also investigates and endeavors to collect claims for any unpaid benefits or wage supplements that the employer has agreed to provide. An employer is guilty of a misdemeanor if he or she fails to provide employees the benefits and wage supplements that were agreed upon.
Wage supplements include:
- Vacation or holiday pay
- Paid sick leave
- Reimbursement of expenses
- Other similar items
Every employer is required to notify employees in writing or by publicly posting the employer's policy on sick leave, vacation, personal leave, holidays and hours of work.
How to File a Claim
To file a claim, you will need to complete a form to claim unpaid wages, wage supplements, minimum wage/overtime and various non-wage items, if your situation meets the criteria below.
- Your employer did not pay you for all hours worked (including on-the-job training).
- Your paycheck bounced due to "not sufficient funds" (NSF).
- You did not receive all of your tips.
- Your rate of pay was lowered without prior notice.
Unpaid Wage Supplements:
Your employer promised you (verbally or in writing), but did not provide earned:
- Vacation Pay
- Holiday Pay
If your employer never promised to pay wage supplements, your employer is not required by law to pay them.
- Your employer paid you less than the current minimum wage.
- Your employer did not pay an overtime rate for hours worked over 40 in one week. (Most employees must be paid time and one-half their rate of pay for more than 40 hours worked, but there are some exceptions.)
Your employer failed to provide the required meal period, day of rest, pay stub, notice of pay, timely payment of wages, or took a negative action against you for making a complaint related to the Labor Law.
Labor Standards cannot accept every claim.
Labor Standards will not accept claims if you:
- Worked outside of New York State.
- Have filed an action to recover your wages in small claims or civil court.
- Are claiming commissions from sales
- Are owed wages from a government agency, town, county or city.
- Were in business for yourself, or were truly an independent contractor.
- Are owed wages from more than three years since the date you earned the wages or supplements due to you.
- Are making a claim for wages or benefits that are subject to a union's grievance and arbitration procedure.
- Have an employer benefit policy that excludes you from collecting accrued benefits for a specific reason (e.g. quit without notice).
- Are owed a wage supplement, but 30 days have not passed since it became due.
- Worked as an executive, administrative or professional employee and earned over $900 per week.
- Performed public work