Q: I own a small business and recently read about a bill Governor Cuomo signed into law eliminating the requirement for me to notify my employees about their rate of pay, allowances, pay day, etc. Since this is new to me, I’m wondering how this change will affect my annual statements and relationships with employees.
A: A A: All private sector employers are required to comply with New York’s Wage Theft Prevention Act (WTPA). The WTPA, which originally took effect in 2011, mandates private sector employers to provide detailed wage information to all of their employees at the time of hiring, annually on or before February 1 of each year of employment, and within seven days of a change in the rate of an employee’s pay. On December 29, 2014, Governor Cuomo signed a bill amending the WTPA. The amendments, which will take immediate effect upon the passage of a chapter amendment, eliminate the requirement that all employers covered by the WTPA provide detailed wage information to all employees on an annual basis. We expect the legislature will vote on the chapter amendment within the coming weeks. Given the pending enactment of the chapter amendment, the New York State Department of Labor has issued a statement that it will not require annual wage information to be provided in 2015.
The WTPA ammendments will not change the requirement that business owners provide pay notices to all workers at the time of hire and within seven days of a change in the rate of an employee's pay. WTPA notices must include the following information:
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.;
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)
As a small business owner, you must remain vigilant to ensure compliance with the WTPA. Noncompliant employers are subject to harsh fines and penalties. Employers should consult an attorney if they have any questions regarding the recent amendments to the WTPA and current pay notice requirements.
Max H. Sicherman is an Associate in the firm’s Labor and Employment Law practice in the New York City office of Meyer, Suozzi, English & Klein, P.C. Mr. Sicherman represents individuals and unions, both locally and nationally, in all aspects of federal and state litigation.