Press Releases

Skip to Content

Accessible Navigation and Information

Use the following links to quickly navigate around the page. The number for each is the shortcut key.


You are on this page: Press Releases

For immediate release: July 20, 2016
Contact: Craig Smith
Phone: 518-402-3130

Governor Cuomo Announces Employers to Repay Nearly $4 Million in Back Wages and Damages to More Than 7,500 Workers

Exploited Workers Task Force Launches Investigation into the Exploitation of Workers in the Dry Cleaning Industry; Places State on a Path to Ban Use of PERC

Governor to Award $5 Million in Grants to Improve Worker Health and Safety Across New York

Governor Signs Executive Order to Establish Permanent Task Force on Employee Exploitation and Misclassification

Task Force Releases One-Year Report, Recommendations to Protect Workers Against Predatory Practices

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that the Task Force to Combat Worker Exploitation has directed 1,547 businesses to pay nearly $4 million in back wages and damages to more than 7,500 workers since its inception in July 2015. The Governor also announced several initiatives to improve worker health and safety, including a multi-agency investigation into the exploitation of dry cleaning workers and a coordinated effort to ban harmful chemicals, such as perchlorethylene (PERC), that are commonly used in the industry.

The State will also launch a new $5 million grant program and RFP for non-profit organizations to expand services to help exploited workers. The Governor marked the one-year anniversary of the task force at an event in Manhattan where he signed Executive Order No. 159 to establish a permanent, statewide task force on employee exploitation and misclassification. The announcements follow the release of the Task Force’s one-year report, which includes recommendations to protect workers against predatory practices.

“In New York, we believe that anyone who seeks to build a better future for themselves can do so in the Empire State – and we will not allow the unscrupulous practices of businesses to stand in the way,” Governor Cuomo said. “From creating the first-of-its kind Task Force, to enacting unprecedented protections for nail salon workers, our administration has made great strides to root out injustices in industries where employees are routinely victimized – and today’s announcement is proof that our efforts are working. Through these actions, we are continuing our progress to revive the American Dream and ultimately chart a better future for the hardworking men and women of New York.”