Over $10 million has been returned to more than 17,000 New Yorkers who were victims of wage theft during the first three months of the year.

That amount surpasses last year's first quarter total of $9 million and places the state on track to exceed the $31.5 million in stolen wages recovered in 2015.

The surge in wage recoveries is the result of Governor Andrew Cuomo's efforts to root out worker exploitation across multiple industries throughout the state.

“New York State has zero tolerance for employers who seek to cheat their employees of hard-earned wages,”  Cuomo said. “These numbers clearly demonstrate the success of our ongoing efforts to combat worker exploitation. We will continue to aggressively crack down on unscrupulous employers and ensure a fair day’s pay is paid for a fair day’s work.”

Some of the most common ways an employer can steal wages include paying tips only, not paying an overtime rate for hour worked over 40 and withholding final paychecks.

Workers in the Mohawk Valley received over $18,000 in stolen wages.

For more information on wage theft recovery in New York State, visit labor.www.labor.ny.gov/wagetheft.