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Expanded Notice and Record Keeping Requirements For New York Employers

Jan 4, 2011

Previously we wrote an article that detailed the new notice requirements that were effective for New York employers in October of 2009. The "Wage Theft Prevention Act", which was signed into law by Governor Paterson during December, expands those notice requirements.

The New York Labor Law currently requires employers to notify employees in writing of their rate of pay and regular pay day only once at the time of hiring. Under the newly enacted Wage Theft Prevention Act employers are required to provide written notices to employees both at the time of hiring and on or before February 1st of each subsequent year of the employee's employment.

The Wage Theft Prevention Act also imposes a new requirement that the notifications be given both in English and in the language identified by the employee as the primary language of the employee. The notices must contain an affirmation by the employee that the employee accurately identified his or her primary language to the employer. The New York State Commissioner of Labor will make available to employers templates of the notices in English and in other languages. When an employee identifies his or her primary language as a language for which a template is not available, the employer is only required to provide to that employee an English language notice.

The notices that are provided to employees must contain the following information (some of which is already required under the current law):

  1. The rate or rates of pay and basis thereof;
  2. The regular hourly rate and overtime rate of pay for employees that are not exempt from overtime compensation;
  3. Whether paid by the hour, shift, day, week, salary, piece, commission, or other;
  4. Allowances, if any, claimed as part of the minimum wage, including tip, meal or lodging allowances;
  5. The regular pay day designated by the employer;
  6. The name of the employer;
  7. Any "doing business as" names used by the employer;
  8. The physical address of the employer's main office or principal place of business and a mailing address if different;
  9. The telephone number of the employer;
  10. Such other information as the Commissioner of Labor deems material and necessary.

The newly enacted law also expands the list of payroll records that must be maintained. Employers are required to maintain the following payroll records for each week worked: the rate or rates of pay and basis thereof; whether paid by the hour, shift, day, week, salary, piece, commission or other; gross wages; deductions; allowances, if any, claimed as part of the minimum wage; net wages; for employees who are not exempt from overtime compensation, the regular hourly rate or rates of pay, the overtime rate or rates of pay, the number of regular hours worked and the number of overtime hours worked; and for employees paid a piece rate, the applicable piece rate or rates of pay and the number of pieces completed at each piece rate.

The time period during which such payroll records must be maintained was also increased from three years to six years.

The Wage Theft Prevention Act takes effect on April 9, 2011. Look for new notice templates to be provided by the New York State Department of Labor. If you have any questions about the Wage Theft Prevention Act please contact Amy Varel at (585) 512-3519 or avarel@mccmlaw.com.

This publication is intended as an information source for clients, prospective clients, and colleagues and constitutes attorney advertising. The content should not be considered legal advice and readers should not act upon information in this publication without individualized professional counsel.