§ 5252. Discrimination against employees and prospective employees based upon wage assignment or income execution. 1. No employer shall discharge, lay off, refuse to promote, or discipline an employee, or refuse to hire a prospective employee, because one or more wage assignments or income executions have been served upon such employer or a former employer against the employee's or prospective employee's wages or because of the pendency of any action or judgment against such employee or prospective employee for nonpayment of any alleged contractual obligation. In addition to being subject to the civil action authorized in subdivision two of this section, where any employer discharges, lays off, refuses to promote or disciplines an employee or refuses to hire a prospective employee because of the existence of one or more income executions and/or income deduction orders issued pursuant to section fifty-two hundred forty-one or fifty-two hundred forty-two of this article, the court may direct the payment of a civil penalty not to exceed five hundred dollars for the first instance and one thousand dollars per instance for the second and subsequent instances of employer or income payor discrimination. The penalty shall be paid to the creditor and may be enforced in the same manner as a civil judgment or in any other manner permitted by law. 2. An employee or prospective employee may institute a civil action for damages for wages lost as a result of a violation of this section within ninety days after such violation. Damages recoverable shall not exceed lost wages for six weeks and in such action the court also may order the reinstatement of such discharged employee or the hiring of such prospective employee. Except as provided for in subdivision (g) of section fifty-two hundred forty-one, not more than ten per centum of the damages recovered in such action shall be subject to any claims, attachments or executions by any creditors, judgment creditors or assignees of such employee or prospective employee. A violation of this section may also be punished as a contempt of court pursuant to the provisions of section seven hundred fifty-three of the judiciary law.