Labor Law Section 663
1.By employee. If any employee is paid by his or her employer less than the wage to which he or she is entitled under the provisions of this article, he or she shall recover in a civil action the amount of any such underpayments, together with costs all reasonable attorney’s fees, prejudgment interest as required under the civil practice law and rules, and unless the employer proves a good faith basis to believe that its underpayment of wages was in compliance with the law, an additional amount as liquidated damages equal to one hundred percent of the total of such underpayments found to be due. Any agreement between the employee, and the employer to work for less than such wage shall be no defense to such action.
2.By commissioner. On behalf of any employee paid less than the wage to which the employee is entitled under the provisions of this article, the commissioner may bring any legal action necessary, including administrative action, to collect such claim, and the employer shall be required to pay the full amount of the underpayment, plus costs, and unless the employer proves a good faith basis to believe that its underpayment was in compliance with the law, an additional amount as liquidated damages. Liquidated damages shall be calculated by the commissioner as no more than one hundred percent of the total amount of underpayments found to be due the employee. In any action brought by the commissioner in a court of competent jurisdiction, liquidated damages shall be calculated as an amount equal to one hundred percent of underpayments found to be due the employee.
3.Limitation of time. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, an action to recover upon a liability imposed by this article must be commenced within six years. The statute of limitations shall be tolled from the date an employee files a complaint with the commissioner or the commissioner commences an investigation, whichever is earlier, until an order to comply issued by the commissioner becomes final, or where the commissioner does not issue an order, until the date on which the commissioner notifies the complainant that the investigation has concluded. Investigation by the commissioner shall not be a prerequisite to nor a bar against a person bringing a civil action under this article.
4.Attorneys’ fees. In any civil action by an employee or by the commissioner, the employee or commissioner shall have the right to collect attorneys’ fees and costs incurred in enforcing any court judgment. Any judgment or court order awarding remedies under this section shall provide that if any amounts remain unpaid upon the expiration of ninety days following issuance of judgment, or ninety days after expiration of the time to appeal and no appeal therefrom is then pending, whichever is later, the total amount of judgment shall automatically increase by fifteen percent.
Section 663 — Civil action,
https://www.nysenate.gov/legislation/laws/LAB/663 (updated Mar. 13, 2015; accessed Dec. 2, 2023).