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.
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:
- 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.
- 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.
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