Jeffrey (Jeff) H. Ruzal, Member of the Firm in the Employment, Labor & Workforce Management practice, in the firm’s New York office, was quoted in Law360 Employment Authority, in “Employer's Intent Key to Wage Theft Prosecution,” by Daniela Porat. (Read the full version – subscription required.)

Following is an excerpt:

The delta between criminal wage theft and civil wage and hour violations is large, but unpacking the differences between them offers important lessons about intent and the power of the penal code to deter bad behavior, attorneys say. …

The underlying allegations and evidence in criminal and civil wage cases are "commonly rooted," said Jeff Ruzal, member of management-side firm Epstein Becker & Green PC.

"In a lot of ways, it's going to be the same sort of factual investigation. A lot of the same questions will be asked at a deposition. A lot of the same testimony would be elicited if there were ever to be a trial," he said. "There is a lot of overlapping fact-related matter."

But the difference comes down to intent.

"I think criminal prosecution is going to be reserved for a very distinct group of alleged bad actors, where there is support for the allegations that they purposefully did not pay wages or engaged in wage theft knowingly," Ruzal said.

Jump to Page

Privacy Preference Center

When you visit any website, it may store or retrieve information on your browser, mostly in the form of cookies. This information might be about you, your preferences or your device and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to. The information does not usually directly identify you, but it can give you a more personalized web experience. Because we respect your right to privacy, you can choose not to allow some types of cookies. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings. However, blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer.

Strictly Necessary Cookies

These cookies are necessary for the website to function and cannot be switched off in our systems. They are usually only set in response to actions made by you which amount to a request for services, such as setting your privacy preferences, logging in or filling in forms. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not then work. These cookies do not store any personally identifiable information.

Performance Cookies

These cookies allow us to count visits and traffic sources so we can measure and improve the performance of our site. They help us to know which pages are the most and least popular and see how visitors move around the site. All information these cookies collect is aggregated and therefore anonymous. If you do not allow these cookies we will not know when you have visited our site, and will not be able to monitor its performance.