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January 5, 2015

Governor Cuomo Signs Bill Eliminating Annual
Wage Theft Prevention Act Notice Requirement

On December 29, 2014, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed Assembly Bill 81 06-C, which amended the New York Wage Theft Prevention Act (the “WTPA”).  Notably, the amendment to the WTPA eliminates employers’ obligation to provide employees with notice of certain terms and conditions of employment each year between January 1st and February 1st.  Although the amendment does not take effect until February 27, 2015, the New York Department of Labor (“NYDOL”) has stated on its website that it will not require annual notice in 2015 in light of the amendment.  Accordingly, employers are no longer required to provide annual WTPA notice to their employees.

Significantly, the amendment to the WTPA did not eliminate employers’ obligation to provide WTPA notice to employees: (i) at hiring; and (ii) at least seven (7) days prior to a change in any of the required information unless such information is set forth in the wage statement accompanying the payment of wages.  The WTPA notice must include:

  • the rate(s) of pay and basis thereof, whether paid by the hour, shift, day, week, salary, piece commission, or other;
  • allowances, if any, claimed as part of the minimum wage;
  • the designated pay day;
  • the name of the employer;
  • any “doing business as” names used by the employer;
  • the physical address and mailing address (if different) of the employer; and
  • the telephone number of the employer.

Template notices are available on the NYDOL website.  The notice must be provided in both English and in the employee’s primary language (if the NYDOL offers a template in that language).

In addition to eliminating the annual WTPA notice requirement, the amendment increases the penalties for failures to comply with the WTPA.   The amendment also holds the ten (10) members with the largest percentage of ownership interest in a limited liability company (“LLC”) jointly and severally personally liable for all debts, wages or salaries due and owing to the LLC’s laborers, servants or employees for services performed for the LLC.  These changes take effect February 27, 2015.

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If you have any questions regarding the amendment to the Wage Theft Prevention Act, please do not hesitate to contact us.