Amendments to Wage Theft Prevention Act Become Law In New York

Amendments to Wage Theft Prevention Act Become Law In New York

Now that the amendments to the wage theft prevention act are law, how will this affect New York employers?

New York employers can cross one administrative “to-do” off their lists for 2015. With very little time to spare, New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed into law amendments to the Wage Theft Prevention Act on December 29, 2014, which amendments were originally passed by the New York legislature last summer. The practical effect is that New York employers will not be required to deliver annual wage notices to their workers before February 1 each year.

The Wage Theft Prevention Act requires New York employers to provide certain wage-related information to employees, including the employee’s rate of pay, how the employee’s pay is calculated, and the employee’s regular payday. The law originally required employers to give written notice of wage rates to all employees by February 1 of each year.

Although the newly signed amendments relieve New York employers of a burdensome record keeping obligation, the notification requirement will still apply to new hires, and the Wage Theft Prevention Act’s document retention requirements remain in place. In addition, the amendments also impose other changes that could lead to increased liability.

The amendments to the act are:

  • Steeper fines: Employers that fail to provide wage notices to new employees face fines of $50 per work day (increased from $50 per work week), up to a maximum of $5,000. Employers that fail to provide pay-rate earning statements with each wage payment face penalties of $250 per work day (increased from $100 per work week), up to a maximum of $5,000.
  • Higher penalties for repeat violations: The maximum penalty for employers with a previous wage violation within the past six-year period will increase to $20,000 (versus $10,000 under the prior law).
  • Increased successor liability: The amended statute imposes successor liability on employers that share similar ownership, operations, customers, or employees with another entity that has committed a labor law violation.

As we have previously noted on this blog, wage violations can be costly. Employers are reminded to keep accurate records and regularly review their policies and procedures to ensure compliance with state and local law.

Are you a New York employer who has been directly affected by the changes to the Wage Theft Protection Act? Feel free to leave a comment below.


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AboutRobert A. Marsico

Robert A. Marsico is a real estate and commercial transactions lawyer with more than 30 years of legal experience. He represents a wide variety of financial institutions, corporate and entrepreneurial clients in the areas of mortgage financing, commercial project acquisitions and sales, commercial leasing and other business transactions.Full Biography

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Amendments to Wage Theft Prevention Act Become Law In New York

Amendments to Wage Theft Prevention Act Become Law In New York
Author: Robert A. Marsico

New York employers can cross one administrative “to-do” off their lists for 2015. With very little time to spare, New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed into law amendments to the Wage Theft Prevention Act on December 29, 2014, which amendments were originally passed by the New York legislature last summer. The practical effect is that New York employers will not be required to deliver annual wage notices to their workers before February 1 each year.

The Wage Theft Prevention Act requires New York employers to provide certain wage-related information to employees, including the employee’s rate of pay, how the employee’s pay is calculated, and the employee’s regular payday. The law originally required employers to give written notice of wage rates to all employees by February 1 of each year.

Although the newly signed amendments relieve New York employers of a burdensome record keeping obligation, the notification requirement will still apply to new hires, and the Wage Theft Prevention Act’s document retention requirements remain in place. In addition, the amendments also impose other changes that could lead to increased liability.

The amendments to the act are:

  • Steeper fines: Employers that fail to provide wage notices to new employees face fines of $50 per work day (increased from $50 per work week), up to a maximum of $5,000. Employers that fail to provide pay-rate earning statements with each wage payment face penalties of $250 per work day (increased from $100 per work week), up to a maximum of $5,000.
  • Higher penalties for repeat violations: The maximum penalty for employers with a previous wage violation within the past six-year period will increase to $20,000 (versus $10,000 under the prior law).
  • Increased successor liability: The amended statute imposes successor liability on employers that share similar ownership, operations, customers, or employees with another entity that has committed a labor law violation.

As we have previously noted on this blog, wage violations can be costly. Employers are reminded to keep accurate records and regularly review their policies and procedures to ensure compliance with state and local law.

Are you a New York employer who has been directly affected by the changes to the Wage Theft Protection Act? Feel free to leave a comment below.