THE WAGE THEFT PREVENTION ACT - NEW WAGE NOTICE REQUIREMENTS FOR EMPLOYERS
By: Donald R. Moy
The Wage Theft Prevention Act (WTPA), which goes into effect April 9, 2011, amends the notice of wage rate requirements under Section 195 of the Labor Law. The law covers all private sector employers in New York State. For more information go to the New York State Department of Labor website.
Section 195 of the Labor Law requires employers to provide a written notice to employees regarding their rate(s) of pay, designated pay day, the employer’s intent to claim certain allowances as part of the minimum wage (e.g. tips or meal allowances) and the basis of the wage payment (e.g. hour, shift, day, week, piece, etc.). As amended by the WTPA, the wage notice must meet the following requirements:
- The written notice must be provided at the time of hiring and on or before February 1st of each subsequent year of employment. The written notice must be in both English and in the primary language indentified by each employee at the time of hiring. The written notice must include the following information.
- The rate or rates of pay, whether paid by the hour, shift, day, week, salary, piece, commission, or other;
- Allowances, if any, claimed as part of the minimum wage, including tip, meal, or lodging allowances:
- The regular pay day designated by the employer;
- The name of the employer;
- Any “doing business as” names used by the employer;
- The physical address of the employer’s main office, or principal place of business, and a mailing address if different;
- The telephone number of the employer;
- Any other information that the Commissioner of Labor deems material and necessary.
- Each time the employer provides such notice to the employee, the employer must obtain from the employee a signed and dated written acknowledgment, in English and in the primary language of the employee, of receipt of the notice. The employer must retain the written acknowledgement for six years. The written acknowledgment must include an affirmation by the employee that the employee accurately identified his or her primary language to the employer and that the notice provided by the employer to the employee was in the language so identified or otherwise complied with the requirements.
- As an additional requirement, for all employees who are not exempt from overtime compensation as established by law and regulations, the notice must state the regular hourly rate and overtime rate of pay.
The employer must notify employees in writing of any changes to the information set forth above, at least seven calendar days prior to the time of such change, unless such changes are reflected on the wage statement.
The employer must furnish each employee with a statement with every payment of wages, listing the following: the dates of work covered by that payment of wages; name of employee; name of employer; address and phone number of employer; rate or rates of pay, whether paid by the hour, shift, day, week, salary, piece, commission or other; gross wages; deductions; allowances, if any, claimed as part of minimum wage; and net wages. For all employees who are not exempt from overtime compensation, the statement must include 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.
The employer must retain accurate payroll records (to include information listed above) for at least six years.
TEMPLATES– The WTPA requires the Commissioner of Labor to prepare templates that comply with the requirements of the law. Each template must be dual-language, including English and one additional language. The Commissioner has discretion to determine which languages to provide in addition to English.
When an employee identifies a primary language for which a template is not available from the Commissioner, the employee will comply with the law by providing that employee an English language notice and acknowledgment.
The templates are now available at the New York State Department of Labor website.
Employers must review the information available at the Department of Labor website regarding the WTPA now. The Department of Labor may assess penalties of $100 per worker per week if proper wage statements are not given. In addition, workers can sue the employer for not receiving the proper wage statement, but damages are capped at $2,500 per worker.
Kern Augustine Conroy & Schoppmann, P.C., Attorneys to Health Professionals,www.DrLaw.com, is solely devoted to the representation of physicians and other health care professionals. The authors of this article may be contacted at 1‐800‐445‐0954 or via email at info@DrLaw.com.