New York’s Wage Theft Prevention Act

The New York Labor Law entitled the Wage Theft Prevention Act (the “WTP Act”) becomes effective on April 9, 2011.   The WTP Act modifies numerous sections of the New York Labor Law and imposes new record-keeping and notice obligations on employers.  In summary the WTP provides, among other things, that:

  • Written pay notices that must be given to all employees annually.
  • Seven-day advance written notice of any pay changes.
  • Broader remedies for retaliation against employees who make wage complaints.
  • Expanded criminal penalties for violators of the New York Labor Law.
  • Increases in penalties and fines for violations of the New York Labor Law.

The WTP Act expands the requirement that employers give written statements setting out an employees pay days, pay rates and, if nonexempt, their overtime rates of pay to include also include:

  • the basis of the individual’s rate or rates of pay (i.e., hourly, shift, daily, weekly, salary, piece, commission or other).
  • allowances claimed, if any, as part of the minimum wage.
  • the name of the employer, including any “d/b/a” names.
  • 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.
  • “such other information as the commissioner deems material and necessary.”

These notices must be provided in both English and the employee’s primary language (as identified by the employee, but only to the extent a form in that language is issued by the Department of Labor.

The employer must provide its employees with follow-up notices containing this information every year, on or before Feb. 1.