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New York Department of Labor releases Wage Theft Prevention Act guidance and forms
April 4, 2011
Employment Law Alert
Author(s): Joseph A. Carello, Michael A. Hausknecht, Stephen J. Jones, Todd R. Shinaman

On April 9, New York's Wage Theft Prevention Act will go into effect, imposing new recordkeeping and notice obligations on New York employers. The Department of Labor recently released additional guidance and sample forms.

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As discussed in previous alerts, New York’s Wage Theft Prevention Act imposes new recordkeeping and notice obligations on New York employers, and creates new penalties. This statute goes into effect on April 9, 2011. The New York Department of Labor (“NYDOL”) has released answers to frequently asked questions, as well as sample pay notice forms.

The guidance from the NYDOL includes the following highlights:
Pay Notices

  • The NYDOL will provide notice templates in English, Haitian-Creole, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Polish and Russian. Currently, the NYDOL has only posted notices in English, Spanish, Chinese and Korean.
  • Use of the templates remains optional – employers are free to develop their own notices, so long as they contain the information required by law.
  • Yearly notices must be issued each year between January 1 and February 1. Notices may not be issued at other times of the year to satisfy this requirement.
  • The notice may be included with letters and/or employment agreements with new hires, but must be on its own separate form.
  • For exempt employees, employers do not need to identify the specific overtime exemption.
  • For commission salespersons, the written commission agreement should be attached to the pay notice.
  • Except for employers in the hospitality industry, a separate notice is not required when there is an increase in an employee’s pay rate, so long as the increase is reflected on the corresponding wage statement.
  • For any reduction in pay rate, employers must notify the employee in writing before the reduction is implemented.

Wage Statements

  • Retroactive wage increases must be noted separately on wage statements, delineating the period in which it is to be paid.
  • The NYDOL plans to issue sample wage statements.

The foregoing has been prepared for the general information of clients and friends of the firm. It is not meant to provide legal advice with respect to any specific matter and should not be acted upon without professional counsel. If you have any questions or require any further information regarding these or other related matters, please contact your regular Nixon Peabody LLP representative. This material may be considered advertising under certain rules of professional conduct.