The February 1st deadline to comply with the New York Wage Theft Prevention Act is fast approaching. The Act requires New York State employers to provide to each employee a written notice containing specific information about the employee’s wages. The notice must be given to all employees, including employees earning union wages and employees earning prevailing wages on public construction projects.
The notice must be provided to the employee at the time of hiring, annually on or before February 1st of each year of employment, and within 7 days of a change if the change is not listed on the employee’s pay stub.
The notice must include: (1) rate of pay including, if applicable, overtime rate; (2) the basis of wages (whether paying by hour, shift, day, week, piece, etc.); (3) designated pay day; (4) the employer’s intent to claim allowances (like tip or meal allowances) as part of the minimum wage; (5) the official name of the employer and any other names used for business; and (6) address and phone number of the employer’s main office or principal location and, if different, mailing address.
Sample notices are available on the New York State Department of Labor website in English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Creole, Polish and Russian. If an employee designates one of the above referenced languages as his or her primary language, the notice must be given to the employee in the designated language as well as in English. If the sample notice is not available in the employee’s primary language, the employer need only provide the notice in English.
Employers are required to obtain a signed and dated written acknowledgement from the employee confirming receipt of the notice, and provide a copy to the employee. As with other payroll-related records, the signed form must be kept by the employer for six years.
All New York employers should take immediate steps to ensure compliance by the February 1st deadline. The failure to comply with the notice requirement of the Wage Theft Prevention Act may result in a penalty of $50 per week per employee. For additional information, employers can review the following New York State Department of Labor publications: (1) Wage Theft Prevention Act Fact Sheet; and (2) Wage Theft Prevention Act Frequently Asked Questions.