On December 31, 2019, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo vetoed the employee wage lien bill (colloquially referred to by its sponsors and supporters as the “Securing Wages Earned Against Theft” or “SWEAT” bill). Both the New York State Senate and Assembly (S2844B/A486B) passed the bill in June 2019. If enacted into law, the bill would have allowed current and former employees to obtain liens on their employers’ personal and real property for alleged wage and hour violations prior to any judicial determinations on the merits (or lack thereof) of the employees’ claims.

Governor Cuomo announced that he supports the bill’s intent but that an overly expansive definition of “employer” and due process concerns preclude his signature at this time. The bill’s legislative sponsors have vowed to resubmit a revised bill for passage in 2020 that would address the governor’s stated reasons and concerns.