I must write this to help protect all NYS/NYC employers:
The New York State Department of Labor is assessing penalties to employers of ‘undocumented employees’.
Please repeat the above sentence to yourself and substitute ‘illegal aliens’ for the last two words.
We have more than one case already where a temporary worker, who never came forward with proper paperwork, and her illegal friend are suing a past employer.
Their claim, working 80.5 hours per week with no overtime rate, at a concierge station in a hotel lobby.
Further, the complaint was made against the client’s bussing company and not the concierge business at all.
This is not the only hospitality industry case. There are many others. How about a diner where the employer paid the employee properly. So instead the lawyer for the employee has started a class action lawsuit. Employees from 5 & 6 years ago suddenly remember being underpaid? There is no doubt in my mind that many in the hospitality industry have trouble with undocumented workers.
New York State requires ALL employees to work under the same code, regardless of legitimacy of paperwork of an undocumented worker.
This means the practice of employees signing their time cards, paying payroll rates properly and the reviewing personnel files become the focal point of your defense against an investigation.
- Everyone should have a time clock or a time register.
- The employee should initial or sign each time they are paid that the hours are correct.
- Rates should be updated on a systematic basis and reviewed for accuracy.
The bills that go with these cases become, pay the lawyer or pay the state or pay both. And typically I hate to report, it is pay both.