Low-Wage Workers Gain Support With MOVE Act

Low-Wage Workers See Support With New MOVE Act

by Koi Germany


Last month, Riverdale Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz introduced a bill limiting the power of employers while bolstering the rights of low-wage workers.

Known as the Mobility and Opportunity for Vulnerable Employees (MOVE) Act, Dinowitz’s bill would ban the practice of using non-compete agreements for employees earning less than $15 an hour, or $31,200 annually.

Taking inspiration from congressional legislation introduced by Minnesota Senator Al Franken, Assemblyman Dinowitz said, “Requiring low-wage workers to sign non-compete agreements as a condition of employment is a practice that must end immediately.”

Assemblyman Dinowitz asserted that “New Yorkers just can’t wait for the gridlock in Congress to subside to protect low-wage workers.”

With the ban in place these workers would be granted a competitive edge, having the freedom to seek higher paying jobs without being contractually or otherwise legally bound to a sole employer.

Jimmy Johns RestaurantCalling out employers such as the Jimmy John’s sandwich restaurant chain which requires its workers to sign such agreements, Dinowitz added, “[such] employers hinder workers’ ability to move up in the world by using their experience to find better paying jobs.” He believes the MOVE Act will remove barriers for those currently stuck in low-wage jobs so they can work toward a better life for themselves and their families.

“Ensuring the ability of low-wage workers to work hard and climb out of poverty is a paramount issue,” said Assemblyman Dinowitz.

Moreover, the bill also requires that businesses and companies using non-compete agreements for workers not defined as “low-wage” disclose that fact at the beginning of the hiring process.

Punitive action for noncompliant employers would include a civil fine of up to $5000 imposed by the New York State Secretary of Labor for each worker agreement that violates the MOVE Act and a $5000 fine for failure to post notice.

Story by Bronx Chronicle staff writer Koi Germany, Jr. 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email