On July 20, 2016, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed Executive Order No. 159, which established the “Joint Task Force on Employee Misclassification and Worker Exploitation.” The Joint Task Force will focus on state labor law violations in 14 targeted industries: nail salons; farming; cleaning; home healthcare; laundry; childcare; supermarkets; retail; trucking; construction; landscaping; car washes; janitorial services and waste disposal. The Joint Task Force will also involve coordinated enforcement efforts and investigations by 10 New York State agencies, including the Department of Labor, the Division of Human Rights and the Department of Health.

The Joint Task Force is the latest effort by New York State to crack down on unpaid wages, dangerous health and safety conditions, and other forms of worker exploitation. Previously, the Governor’s executive orders created temporary task forces to address worker exploitation and employee misclassification in specific industries. The Joint Task Force is a permanent entity that reflects a merger of those previous temporary task forces.

Takeaway for Employers

Employers, particularly those in the targeted industries, should continue to ensure that employees are correctly compensated and not exposed to dangerous working conditions. The Joint Task Force likely comes as welcome news to those employers in the targeted industries that have diligently complied with applicable workplace laws while facing competition from less conscientious employers.

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If you have any questions regarding the executive order, please do not hesitate to contact us.
212-682-0020 | PutneyLaw.com.