By Lorelei Salas, NYC Department of Consumer and Worker Protection Commissioner

DCWP digital ad campaign featuring different industry workers with headline text, Whatever You’re Facing at Work, We’ve Got Your Back. We fight for every worker in NYC.
DCWP digital ad campaign featuring different industry workers with headline text, Whatever You’re Facing at Work, We’ve Got Your Back. We fight for every worker in NYC.
DCWP digital ad campaign featuring different industry workers with headline text, Whatever You’re Facing at Work, We’ve Got Your Back. We fight for every worker in NYC.

It is fitting that my tenure at the Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP) shall end on the eve of May Day, or International Workers’ Day, when we celebrate workers around the world. I was appointed as DCWP Commissioner at the same time the newly created Office of Labor Policy & Standards (OLPS) was housed at the DCWP in May 2016, and in these five years our city has seen its share of municipal workplace protections grow exponentially. …


By Melissa Barosy, former Press Secretary for the NYC Department of Consumer and Worker Protection

Left photo features Melissa with her family after college graduation ceremony and right photo is taken on university campus lawn. Photos courtesy of Melissa Barosy.
Left photo features Melissa with her family after college graduation ceremony and right photo is taken on university campus lawn. Photos courtesy of Melissa Barosy.
Graduation photos courtesy of Melissa Barosy.

As a Black woman born to immigrants from Haiti, I was raised to believe that I should “invest” in my education at all costs and that it would give me financial freedom. From a young age, society teaches us that post-secondary education is a means to achieving economic mobility and to closing the racial wealth gap. What they don’t teach you when you are naïve and 18 years old is that the cost for the degree disproportionately affects Black Americans.


By James Hurst, Assistant Commissioner of Enforcement for the NYC Department of Consumer and Worker Protection

DCWP Inspector writes a violation for price gouging at a store that sells face masks and cleaning wipes.
DCWP Inspector writes a violation for price gouging at a store that sells face masks and cleaning wipes.

Prior to COVID-19, the work of a Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP) inspector was not easy. Our inspectors typically travelled on foot from business to business, carried a heavy weight set to test scales, needed to know many different regulations, and inspected up to 10 different businesses a day. And when inspectors occasionally found a violation, they patiently and politely informed the business on the reasons for the violation.

After COVID-19 struck New York City, everything changed. Price gouging complaints poured into…


By Lorelei Salas, NYC Department of Consumer and Worker Protection Commissioner

DCWP Commissioner Lorelei Salas is using her paid time off to celebrate her mom’s 70th birthday with a vacation in Oaxaca, Mexico.

When New York passed a bill raising the minimum hourly wage, opponents declared businesses would be unable to afford it. They were wrong.

A new study by the National Employment Law Project just proved that in the same time period where the minimum hourly wage went up from $7.25 to $15, so did employee retention rates, job growth, and the health of our economy.

Turns out that giving New Yorkers the opportunity to make a decent living wasn’t just a win for workers, but for the city overall.

We…


By Lorelei Salas, NYC Department of Consumer and Worker Protection Commissioner

Unisphere in Flushing Meadows Corona Park in Queens with diverse New Yorkers enjoying a sunny day. Photo Credit: Julienne Schaer | NYC & Company.

“Drugstore”…what a liberal city that you can just walk in and order your drug of choice. That was one of the many thoughts that raced through my head as I took my first cab ride from JFK airport to my grandma’s house in Queens in 1989. I tried to recognize some of the words that I had learned during my senior year of high school on the storefront signs. …


By Amelia Josephson, Office of Financial Empowerment at the NYC Department of Consumer and Worker Protection

Black and white photo during university graduation ceremony featuring three students in their caps and gowns smiling for a group photo. On the right is the blog post author, Amelia Josephson.

Across the country, college seniors are finishing their exams, ironing their graduation robes (or not — no judgment), and preparing for life after school. Roughly two-thirds will graduate with student loan debt. The average loan balance? Close to $30,000. If you’re part of the fortunate third and will be graduating without debt, congratulations! If not, here are some tips that can ease your transition into loan repayment.

1. Know what you owe

It can be tempting to avoid logging into the National Student Loan…


By Lorelei Salas

Group photo of domestic workers and advocates in front of ROMA film screen at IFC in New York City.

Last weekend I sat in a room full of domestic workers, advocates, members and staff of National Domestic Workers’ Alliance, and allies to watch highly acclaimed Alfonso Cuarón’s ROMA. The movie is beautifully made and, no doubt, food for thought about how we talk about the care industry, race, indigenous people’s rights, and more. …


The Pink Tax on Education, Finances and the Road to Equality

The female leadership of the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs stands with the Fearless Girl statue in the face of the Charging Bull.

By Lorelei Salas

Forty-five years ago, Congress declared today Women’s Equality Day. Since then, women have made tremendous strides towards equality and opportunities to further our education and participate in the workforce have grown substantially. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, women now make up nearly half of the U.S. workforce and the number of us with college degrees has almost quadrupled since 1970. …


By: Lorelei Salas, Commissioner of the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs

Image of school books, a pencil, and an apple.

We all know that unpaid debts have financial consequences. Medical bills can go to collections, and unpaid credit card bills accrue interest charges. Unpaid student loan debts, however, carry a special set of financial health consequences that can be devastating. When your student loans go into default status (meaning payments are 270 days or more past due), you can find yourself in a deep financial hole.

Student loan defaults are on the rise. In September 2017, the U.S. Education Department announced that the share of people defaulting on their…


By Lorelei Salas, DCA Commissioner

Photo of Wall Street sign on traffic light post.

For the last six years, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), established by Congress in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, has vigorously championed the interests of consumers in the marketplace. The agency has served as a watchdog over questionable business practices and predatory tactics — holding financial institutions and creditors accountable.

Last week, President Trump signed a resolution to officially revoke a CFPB rule designed to empower consumers preyed upon by financial institutions. The measure passed the House of Representatives in July and Vice President Pence cast his vote to break the 50–50…

NYC Department of Consumer and Worker Protection

Official Medium channel of NYC Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP) — formerly DCA. We protect + enhance the daily economic lives of New Yorkers.

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