Department Of Consumers And Worker Protection And Restaurant Opportunities Centers United To Educate Restaurant Workers

June 28, 2019

Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP) and the Restaurant Opportunities Center of New York (ROC-NY) are educating restaurant workers from Harlem to Hollis about their rights.

The education includes paid safe and sick leave and minimum wage. Teams from DCWP and ROC-NY will conduct a series of outreach events this summer in commercial corridors in each borough beginning on Monday, June 24 in Bedford Stuyvesant and Flatbush, Brooklyn and Manhattan July 8th, 2019.

“It is critical that employees know their rights in the workplace—from sick leave to minimum wage,” said DCWP Commissioner Lorelei Salas. “Paid safe and sick leave ensures that all workers, including those that work in the fast-paced restaurant industry, have leave to care for themselves or their loved ones without facing consequences in the workplace. We are happy to partner with ROC-NY to ensure a healthy and safe working environment for all workers.”

“The Restaurant Opportunities Center of New York (ROC-NY) is excited to be conducting worker and employer outreach with the DCWP,” said ROC-NY Worker Organizer Serena Thomas. “We want to let New York restaurant workers, in particular tipped workers, know that we are here to inform them of their rights and support them in addressing violations of the law. The restaurant industry has a tiered wage system that leaves it susceptible to rampant wage and tip theft. Last year over $35 million dollars in lost wages and tips were recovered for New York workers, the Governor’s office announced that violations to the subminimum wage were amongst the most common ways employers stole wages from workers. It’s essential that workers are aware of their rights and that they know there are community groups and government agencies that are here to support them in addressing violations of the law.

The teams will distribute the Workers’ Bill of Rights, which is available in 15 languages and provides a breakdown of workers’ rights by industry and worker-specific protections, including paid safe and sick leave, wages, and discrimination. DCWP also provides a brief visual overview of the Workers’ Bill of Rights in the NYC Workers’ Bill of Rights Animation. In Spring 2019, DCWP launched a public awareness campaign to educate New Yorkers about their workplace rights, reaffirming the agency as the central resource for New York City‘s workers.

DCWP houses the largest municipal labor standards office in the country with a robust staff of attorneys, investigators, outreach and education specialists, as well as research and policy analysts. DCWP enforces, implements, and works on the development of a new generation of minimum labor standards for a stronger city. DCWP’s mandate is to ensure all workers can realize these rights, regardless of immigration status, and to focus on issues affecting immigrants, people of color, women, and other populations that face vulnerabilities in the workplace.

DCWP enforces a number of municipal workplace laws, including the Paid Safe and Sick Leave Law, Fair Workweek, the Freelance Isn’t Free Act, Commuter Benefits Law, the Living and Prevailing Wage Laws, and the Grocery Workers Retention Act. NYC’s workplace laws apply to all covered employees regardless of immigration status. Employers cannot punish, penalize, retaliate, or take any action against employees that might stop or deter them from exercising their rights, and workers can file a complaint online at or by calling 311.

The NYC Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP) protects and enhances the daily economic lives of New Yorkers to create thriving communities. DCWP licenses more than 81,000 businesses in more than 50 industries and enforces key consumer protection, licensing, and workplace laws that apply to countless more. By supporting businesses through equitable enforcement and access to resources and, by helping to resolve complaints, DCWP protects the marketplace from predatory practices and strives to create a culture of compliance. Through its community outreach and the work of its offices of Financial Empowerment and Labor Policy & Standards, DCWP empowers consumers and working families by providing the tools and resources they need to be educated consumers and to achieve financial health and work-life balance. DCWP also conducts research and advocates for public policy that furthers its work to support New York City’s communities. For more information about DCWP and its work, call 311 or visit DCWP at or on its social media sites, TwitterFacebookInstagram, and YouTube.

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