At OnderLaw, we are not only dedicated to defending the rights of those who have suffered injuries but also steadfastly stand by the rights of every worker. The recent legislation package signed by Governor Kathy Hochul is a tremendous step towards safeguarding the dignity and rights of New York workers.
1. Protection from Employer Impositions: Governor Hochul’s legislation (S4982/A6604) ensures that employees are free from undue influence in the workplace. No longer can employers penalize employees for opting out of meetings that push the company’s political or religious beliefs. As State Senator Jessica Ramos aptly said, employees shouldn’t “check your first amendment rights and freedom of conscience at the door when you clock in at work.” It’s a rightful push towards genuine freedom of speech and conscience in the workplace.
2. Wage Theft Accountability: Perhaps the most impactful is the legislation (S2832-A/A154-A) that makes wage theft synonymous with larceny. This move paves the way for stronger penalties against unscrupulous employers who steal from their workers. With an estimated $3.2 billion stolen from over 2 million New Yorkers annually, this act marks a pivotal moment in the fight for justice for working-class individuals. As Assemblymember Catalina Cruz said, “wage theft will not be tolerated in our state.” We wholeheartedly stand by this sentiment.
3. Enhanced Workers’ Compensation Benefits: The legislation (S1161-A/A2034-A) focuses on ensuring that low-wage workers who suffer injuries and are unable to work receive appropriate compensation. With the increasing cost of living, the rise in the minimum benefits for workers’ compensation is not just an advantage—it’s a necessity. This new law ensures timely updates to workers’ compensation disability benefits, providing essential support to injured workers, ensuring they are not left in financial hardship due to unforeseen workplace accidents.
A Pledge to New York Workers: These legislation pieces are a testament to New York’s commitment to prioritize worker protection and benefits. Governor Hochul’s commitment to making New York “the most worker-friendly state in the nation” is commendable, and these laws will significantly improve the lives of countless workers.
We, at OnderLaw, applaud Governor Hochul, Attorney General Letitia James, the bill sponsors, and every individual and organization that has tirelessly championed these causes. As always, we are here to support and represent New Yorkers, ensuring that these new laws are upheld and that workers’ rights remain protected.
Every New Yorker deserves to work in an environment that respects their rights, dignity, and safety. With this new legislation, we are hopeful for a brighter, more just future for all workers in our beloved state. If you or a loved one have been inured at work, contact OnderLaw today for your free, no-obligation consultation.