Defending Worker’s Rights in New York State

2017-05-01 18

In May 1886, workers led a historic protest in support of an eight-hour workday.

Today, the fight continues in New York and across the country to ensure that no worker is forced to sacrifice their rightfully earned wages, their safety, or their dignity in order to earn a living.

That’s why my office is committed to protecting the rights of all workers – even as some seek to undermine them at every turn.

Among those rights are the right to be paid all earned wages, including minimum wage and overtime; the right to a safe and healthy workplace; the right to organize and to join a union; the right to a job free from discrimination; and the right to report violations to the government without facing retaliation. These rights extend to all workers, period.

I’m proud that over the past five and a half years, my office has won back nearly $30 million for over 21,000 workers; obtained dozens of convictions of employers who committed wage theft; and secured groundbreaking national agreements with major retailers to end the abusive practice of on-call scheduling.

And with an administration in Washington that appears unwilling to enforce hard-won labor laws, we won’t hesitate to step up and fill the gap – and fight back when the rights of New Yorkers are jeopardized.

President Trump’s new Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta has a responsibility to ensure that the agency does its job by enforcing our nation’s labor laws for all workers – including and especially the most vulnerable.

But whether or not we have a partner on the federal level, I will continue to use all tools at our disposal to ensure that all workers are treated with the fairness and dignity they deserve.

Schneiderman is the New York State Attorney General.

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