New York State Department of Labor

The New York State Department of Labor (DOL or NYSDOL) is the department of the New York state government that enforces labor law and administers unemployment benefits.[1][2]

Department of Labor
New York State Department of Labor building (250 Schermerhorn Street), Brooklyn, Sept 2017.jpg
A New York State Department of Labor building in Brooklyn
Department overview
JurisdictionNew York
HeadquartersBuilding 12,
W.A. Harriman Campus,
Albany, NY 12240
Department executive
  • Roberta Reardon, Commissioner of Labor
Key document

The mission of the New York State Department of Labor is to protect workers, assist the unemployed and connect job seekers to jobs, according to its website.[1] It works to ensure a fair wage for all workers, protect the safety and health of workers and the public, help the unemployed via temporary payments (unemployment insurance), link job seekers with employers, and guide workers to training.[1] Its regulations are compiled in title 12 of the New York Codes, Rules and Regulations.

The NYS Department of Labor of today came as a direct result of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire, which took place on March 25, 1911.[3]


The New York State Workforce Investment Board (SWIB) is the state workforce development board required under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). The department provides the board staff and is the WIOA funds administrator.


According to an audit released in June 2014 by State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, the Department of Labor does not complete many of its wage theft investigations in a timely manner.[4] As of late August 2013, the DOL had more than 17000 open cases, consisting of about 9300 active investigations and more than 7800 cases pending payment, and of these almost 13000, or 75%, were at least one year old from initial claim date.[4] In 2013, the DOL had 142 employees statewide, including 85-90 investigators, handling the complaints.[5] By 2015, the caseload had been handled and 85% of investigations were being completed within 6 months.[6] In 2015 alone, the agency had distributed a record $31.5 million to victims of wage theft.[7]

In May 2015, acting labor commissioner Mario Musolino appointed a state wage board to investigate wages for fast food workers.[8][9] In July, the board issued a report recommending a $15-an-hour minimum wage for fast food workers, and in September 2015 acting commissioner Musolino issued an order accepting the recommendations.[10][11] Effective December 31, 2015, the department adopted amended codified regulations (in 12 NYCRR part 146) implementing the report and order.[12]

In 2015, Roberta Reardon, a former AFL-CIO and SAG-AFTRA official, was nominated as the state labor commissioner, and was confirmed by the Senate on June 15, 2016.[13][14] In 2009, M. Patricia Smith, who later became the Solicitor of the United States Department of Labor, was the labor commissioner. Frances Perkins, who later became the U.S. Secretary of Labor and the first female cabinet member, was the first labor commissioner.


  1. ^ a b c "About us". New York State Department of Labor. Archived from the original on 2014-03-24.
  2. ^ Labor Law ┬ž 10; "There shall continue to be in the state government a department of labor. The head of the department shall be the commissioner of labor. [...]"
  3. ^ "Our History". New York State Department of Labor.
  4. ^ a b "DiNapoli: Labor Department Needs to Improve Wage Theft Investigations" (Press release). New York State Comptroller. June 6, 2014.
  5. ^ Bencosme, Melanie (November 14, 2013). "14,000 Wage Theft Cases Pending in NYS". Voices of NY.
  6. ^ "Budget Testimony".
  7. ^ "Budget Testimony".
  8. ^ McGeehan, Patrick (May 6, 2015). "Cuomo Moves to Raise Wages for New York Fast-Food Workers". The New York Times.
  9. ^ "Governor Cuomo Instructs State Labor Department to Convene Wage Board to Investigate and Make Recommendations on Raising Minimum Wage for Fast Food Workers" (Press release). New York State Department of Labor. May 7, 2015. Archived from the original on September 5, 2015.
  10. ^ McGeehan, Patrick (July 22, 2015). "New York Plans $15-an-Hour Minimum Wage for Fast Food Workers". The New York Times.
  11. ^ "Order of Acting Commissioner of Labor Mario J. Musolino on the Report and Recommendations of the Fast Food Wage Board" (Press release). New York State Department of Labor. September 10, 2015. Archived from the original on November 17, 2015.
  12. ^ "Fast Food Minimum Wage", New York State Register, Vol. XXXVII, Issue 42 (October 21, 2015), pp. 8-11, Rulemaking I.D. No. LAB-42-15-00003-P; Vol. XXXVII, Issue 51 (December 23, 2015), pp. 19, Rulemaking I.D. No. LAB-42-15-00003-A.
  13. ^ "Cuomo names AFL-CIO official his new labor commissioner". Retrieved 2015-10-04.
  14. ^ "Department of Labor Announces Senate Confirmation of Commissioner Reardon" (Press release). New York State Department of Labor. June 15, 2016.

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