Wage Theft Prevention Act: Redundant Bureaucracy or Employer Protection?

No state in the Union has taken more steps to protect its workers and employees than the state of New York. However, critics say the state went too far with the Wage Theft Protection Act. This act caps off what some industry leaders—especially in construction—call an explosion of bureaucratic red tape that renders New York business unprofitable and untenable. The law’s proponents have commented that the new Wage Theft Protection Act may actually protect New York’s employers from horrific, small business-destroying lawsuits. Read on for the basics of the WTPA debate.
As of February 1, the act requires that workers be notified of their wages annually. The WTPA Pay Rate form must include how much the employee is paid and when, the name and address of the employer, and allowances. The new form must be provided in English, and the employee’s primary language, if applicable. New York’s Labor Department provides translations in Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Russian, Polish, and Haitian Creole. Failure to comply will result in fines up to $50 weekly.
Businesses have complained that the new paperwork burden will cost the state’s industry millions, and that the law will do little to curb shady work practices. The Wage Theft Protection Act is essentially, say critics, bureaucracy without function. However, the law may provide advantages to employers.  For example, the WTPA may prevent lawsuits from employees that sue over pay disputes.  As paperwork is a key component in all legal proceedings, this paperwork functions to protect employers in the event a dispute over pay turns into litigation.
Only time will tell if the WTPA changes the way New York does business for the better. America’s economic turmoil has been felt deeply in New York State. Entrepreneurs most often call for deregulation, citing that decreased laws and streamlined businesses will turn NY’s economy around. However, most would agree that employees need protection as well, and the WTPA’s goal is to provide that.
As the Wage Theft Protection Act forces your employers into documenting information relating to your wages, you may become aware that your employer has not been paying you properly or depriving you of certain rights relating to your pay.  If you are involved in a wage dispute in New York, then you may benefit by speaking to an employment lawyer. An expert employment attorney can help you understand the complexities of New York workplace law as it relates to you and will vigorously fight for your right to fair pay. Do not let yourself be victimized. Call the law offices of Valli Kane & Vagnini. LLP now at (866) 441-2873 and get one of NY’s most experienced and accomplished employment attorneys on your side.

Hundreds rally against local oil company accused of racial discrimination

HOUSTON — Rev. Peter Johnson and civil rights activist Sara Kane joined hundreds of African American workers and local residents Monday in a rally against a company they say is doing nothing to prevent racial harassment of minority workers.
The protest was held in front of the Mickey Leland Federal Office Building on 1919 Smith Street around 11:30 a.m.
Protesters urged for a federal investigation of Turner Industries in Houston, claiming there are nooses and rebel flags hung up at the factory. They feel this is a violation of their civil rights.
Turner, a 1.6 billion dollar company that services the oil industry, has had issues in the past related to civil rights in other cities.
Original Press : https://www.khou.com/home/Hundreds-rally-against-local-oil-company-accused-of-racial-discrimination-114949164.html

by khou.com staff

Posted on January 31, 2011 at 1:53 PM

Updated Monday, Jan 31 at 11:35 PM

Paris factory employees file federal racial discrimination, harassment complaint

PARIS, TX ― Another Turner Industries employee has come forward claiming he too is a victim of racial discrimination and harassment. Some African American employees of the Paris plant say they have complained to their supervisors about unfair treatment and threats. Now they are taking their complaints to the federal government. Rita Kotey has more.

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Eric M. – Dallas, Texas

“Racism is a process of evil and ignorance. I began my fight against institutional racism in 2005 when I started working for Allied Aviation in Dallas, Texas. Coming from professional football where color took a backseat to teamwork, I was devastated to see that in this modern age managers and co-workers could not see past the color of skin. I, along with numerous other African-American and Hispanic co-workers, were subjected to constant racial threats, symbols and epithets which left permanent scars that can be forgiven, but not forgotten. The environment was so bad we had no choice but to fight back for our own health and sanity. To me, if you do not stand for SOMETHING, you’ll truly fall for anything.
We could not fight this fight alone, however. We called upon James Vagnini and his firm in New York to lead this fight. Without Valli Kane & Vagnini’s determination and know-how, we would not have made it through. After VKV’s relentless fight, we convinced the Federal Government to join in our fight against Allied and we were ultimately vindicated when the company not only compensated us for the harm they caused, but they were forced to commit to companywide changes and measures that would protect their minority employees well into the future.
In the darkest times at Allied, we learned that knowledge is power and the attorneys at VKV had plenty of it. I am extremely thankful for the attorneys and their tireless effort to see us through this time.”

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