Feb 06, 2015

New York Eliminates Annual Wage Notice Requirement for Current Employees and Increases Penalties for New Hire Violations

On December 29, 2014, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed an amendment to the New York Wage Theft Prevention Act (“WTPA”) that became effective immediately.  The law no longer requires that employers provide annual WTPA wage rate and pay day notices to their existing employees before February 1 of each year. The change applies to both exempt and non-exempt employees.  Employers should be aware that the amendment does not completely let them off the hook – the WTPA still requires that employers provide written notice in English and the employee’s primary language to new hires and employees facing a reduction in compensation within 10 days.  The primary language requirement applies only to languages for which the New York Department of Labor (NYDOL) offers a translator.  Employers must follow the new hire requirements or they might find themselves facing stiffer penalties imposed by the amendment.  Employers now face a penalty of $50 per day up to $5,000 for non-compliance and repeat offenders face penalties of $1,000 up to $20,000.  A NYDOL summary explaining the notice requirement appears below.

Further, the amendment enacted important changes relating to successor liability and personal liability for LLC members.  The amendment imposes liability on successor employers that act under similar operation and ownership as the prior employer.  Further, the 10 LLC members with the largest ownership share will now be personally liable for company debts to employees. The increased penalty, and successor and LLC liability rules, take effect February 27, 2015.

Required Notice:

  • Rate or rates of pay, including overtime rate of pay (if it applies)
  • How the employee is paid: by the hour, shift, day, week, commission, etc.
  • Regular payday
  • Official name of the employer and any other names used for business (DBA)
  • Address and phone number of the employer’s main office or principal location
  • Allowances taken as part of the minimum wage (tips, meal and lodging deductions)

Employers can find additional information including offered language translation and sample wage notice forms at the NYDOL website.

If you have any questions about any of the issues discussed in this alert, please contact your Labor and Employment counsel at Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP.

This client alert is intended to inform clients and other interested parties about legal matters of current interest and is not intended as legal advice.

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