BROOKLYN - In an effort to identify and penalize employers who fail to pay minimum wage and overtime, the state Department of Labor created the Wage Watch program in collaboration with a local advocacy group.

The Brooklyn-based Make the Road New York group has spent the past several years weeding out businesses that violate wage regulations. In Bushwick alone, the group found dozens of employers who allegedly engaged in wage theft.

Now, Make the Road New York and others organizations, such as Retail, Wholesale and Deparmtent Store Union, will take their fight against dishonest employers to the next level as a part of Wage Watch. The groups will ensure local businesses know the rules and the workers are aware of their rights.

A spokesperson for Labor Department says Wage Watch provides ordinary people with a way to fight wage violations.