Cuomo Vetoes Liens Against Employers
The Unpaid Wages Lien Bill passed by the NY State Senate and Assembly would have permitted employees to obtain liens against their employer’s real and personal property. The bill allowed for liens when employees claimed their employers owed them unpaid wages.
The intent of the Unpaid Wages Lien Bill 2844–B was to give employees more extensive rights to deal with wage theft. Specifically, the bill would have allowed them to hold shareholders of non-publicly traded corporations personally liable for wage theft. Wage theft victims would have been able to hold the ten members, who held the largest interests in a company, personally liable for wage theft.
What Is a Wage Claim?
Basically, a wage claim is a claim for wages that were unpaid to an employee in violation of a contract. Unpaid overtime, unpaid sales commissions, unpaid contractor’s fees and of course a failure to pay wages at all could be subject to a wage claim.
What Types of Liens Were Part of the Unpaid Wages Lien Bill?
The bill included a mechanic’s lien and employee’s lien on property.
For example, a contractor, subcontractor, laborer, material man, landscape gardener, nurseryman or person or corporation seeking ornamental trees, roses, shrubbery, vines, fruit trees or small fruit trees can have a lien for the principal and interest of the value or price agreed upon for labor. This would be a mechanics lien. The mechanic’s lien could not be for a sum greater than the sum earned and unpaid.
An employee’s lien was a lien against property or the employer’s interest in property for the value of the wage claim. The wage claim could include wages and liquidated damages.
Governor Cuomo vetoed the bill on January 1, 2020. However, he also stated he may introduce a wage theft bill or may address the issue as part of the budget in April.
Stephen Hans & Associates can assist you in complying with employment and labor laws, and represent you in employment litigation.