NYS Dept Labor
The New York State (“NYS”) Department of Labor offers a variety of different programs, benefits and sets of information related to unemployment insurance, workforce rights, research and statistics and more. The organization of the NYS Dept of Labor was spawned by a horrific fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist factory in New York City on March 25, 1911. A building which was proclaimed to be “fireproof” burnt down after the owner refused to install ceiling sprinklers inside. The fire killed 146 workers who were mostly teenage girls. They became trapped inside the building because there was no way for them to escape. The mission of the NYS Dept of Labor is to ensure that no one ever suffers as those 146 individuals did again and to go further with additional protections those individuals never benefited from or enjoyed.
Most people (depending on your welfare definition) consider unemployment insurance to be a form of welfare. To qualify for unemployment insurance benefits through the NYS Dept of Labor you must meet certain income and employment criteria. The Department will examine the income you earned during your “Base Period”, which is defined as the four previous calendar quarters preceding the current quarter you are in. For example, if you file your unemployment insurance claim on August 1, you are filing in the 3rd quarter of that calendar year. Therefore, the second and first quarter of that same year, as well as the fourth and third quarter of the previous year, will comprise your “Base Period”.
To meet the NYS Dept of Labor’s earnings requirements you must have earned wages in at least two calendar quarters during your Base Period and earned at least $1,600 in one calendar quarter during the Base Period and have received a total amount of wages during the Base Period that is 1.5 times higher than the quarter you earned the highest amount of money in the Base Period. If you do not meet these criteria there are other avenues you can pursue to meet the NYS Dept of Labor’s earnings requirements.
Be sure to file for benefits as soon as possible if you qualify to ensure that you do not lose out on unemployment benefits you would otherwise be entitled to receive. Only those individuals who have worked in the State of New York within the last 18 months are eligible to file for NYS unemployment insurance (“UI”). The amount of time it takes to have your UI claims approved varies depending on the workload of the NYS Dept of Labor.
The NYS Dept of Labor is also charged with ensuring that each employee working within the State of New York receives the rights and protections justly due to them. This includes monitoring employers to determine if employees have been properly paid their wages, receive required lunch breaks, not violating child labor laws and more. The Department will also monitor whether employers are following applicable prevailing wage requirements and benefits for individuals who are performing a construction project for a public entity (such as the State of New York or a particular city or village). Finally, as was discussed earlier, the Department will also monitor workplace conditions to protect employees under all applicable workplace safety laws. This monitoring is usually done in conjunction with the New York Division of Safety and Health.
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