As the county’s only business membership organization focused on economic development and advocacy, the Business Council of Westchester has joined with business groups throughout the state to urge Gov. Andrew Cuomo to veto legislation S.2844-B/A.486-B (SWEAT). This legislation, which allows for the creation of an “employee lien” is duplicative and unnecessarily onerous as there are both state and federal laws to protect employees from wage and hour violations, the group argues.
“Our organizations support the State’s enforcement of existing wage and hour laws; however, this legislation goes too far and will undoubtedly have serious consequences for businesses across the state. The legislation allows an employee to secure a lien on an employer’s personal or company property for a mere claim of wage and hour violations. This essentially creates an instant presumption of guilt against the employer and denies businesses their due process,” the letter states.
The legislation also ignores the fact that New York’s Wage Theft Prevention Act already provides for civil and criminal penalties against bad acting employers. Furthermore, SWEAT seeks to expand the definition of employer to include passive owners and managers who may have no control over the pay practices of other parties, the letter continues.
“At a time when New York State continues to be one of the most difficult places to operate a business, and most voters believe it’s becoming even harder for businesses to succeed, the state should not add to its duplicative and onerous regulatory environment – the result will be devastating to businesses, especially small businesses, who are already at their breaking point,” the letter states.