The recent New York Times investigation of nail salon worker abuse has led to the creation of a statewide New York task force announced by Governor Cuomo that will protect workers in a number of additional industries known for exploiting its workers. The task force will focus their investigations on industries in which workers are least likely to come forward to report abuse or exploitation. Such industries are usually comprised largely of an immigrant workforce and include: nail salons, restaurants, construction, car washes, cleaning, farming, home health care, etc.
Many workers in those industries are often most vulnerable due to their legal status. Additionally, those industries also pose a high risk of injury and illness which many workers are hesitant to report for fear of retaliation from their employers. The new task force will work to create safer conditions for these employees, as well.
The task force will commence its investigations by looking into complaints that were made by workers to the State and advocacy organizations. Such complaints include issues surrounding unsafe working conditions, wage theft, retaliation, and human trafficking. Additionally, the investigation will also look into workers who were exploited by unfair wage deductions and unscheduled hours. The task force will take into consideration a number of factors in determining where to focus their efforts, including the dangerousness of the industry; reported deaths; number of violations; percentage of immigrant workers; and whether the workers are geographically isolated. Workers are now able to contact the Task Force Hotline directly at 1-888-469-7365 to make an anonymous complaint.
In addition to the Worker’s Compensation Board, a number of other organizations have formed a committee and will be taking part in the task force by meeting monthly. The New York Civil Liberties Union, New York Immigration Coalition, Farm Bureau, and Empire Justice Center are among the numerous committee members.
If you are a worker who has suffered injury due to unsafe employment conditions, contact an experienced Worker’s Compensation attorney who can advise you of your legal rights. The attorneys at McIntyre, Donohue, Accardi, Salmonson & Riordan, LLP have experience representing clients before Workers’ Compensation boards throughout New York City and Long Island, including Manhattan, the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island, Nassau County, and Suffolk County. For a consultation, call (866)557-7500.