CLIENT UPDATE

Putney, Twombly, Hall & Hirson LLP
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March 24, 2011

New York Wage Theft Prevention Act Takes Effect April 9, 2011

On December 13, 2010, then-Governor David Paterson signed into law the Wage Theft Prevention Act (the “Act”).  The Act takes effect on April 9, 2011.  Our December 15, 2010 Client Alert, which provides an overview of key provisions of the Act, is available here. This Alert will explore two provisions of the Act in greater detail.

Wage Statement Accompanying Paychecks:

The Act amends New York Labor Law Section 195 by requiring employers to furnish all employees, including exempt employees, a statement with every payment of wages containing the following information:

  • dates of work covered by the payment of wages;
  • name of employee;
  • name of employer;
  • address and phone number of employer;
  • rate(s) of pay and basis thereof, whether paid by the hour, shift, day, week, salary, piece, commission or other;
  • gross wages;
  • deductions;
  • allowances, if any, claimed as a part of the minimum wage; and
  • net wages.

 

For all employees who are not exempt from overtime, the statement must also include:

  • the regular hourly rate(s) of pay;
  • the overtime rate(s) of pay;
  • the number of regular hours worked; and
  • the number of overtime hours worked.

 

For all employees paid a piece rate, the statement must also include:

  • the applicable piece rate(s) of pay; and
  • the number of pieces completed at each piece rate.

 

Dual Language Template Notices:

The Act also amends Section 195 by requiring employers to provide notice of rate of pay and other information to all employees (including exempt employees) at the time of hiring and on or before February 1st each year.  Employees must sign and return to the employer a copy of the notice, which the employer must maintain for 6 years.

The Act requires that such notice be provided in English and in the primary language of the employee.  However, employers are only required to provide the notice in the primary language of the employee if the Department of Labor publishes template notices in the employee’s primary language.  For example, if the Department of Labor only publishes template notices in English, Spanish, Russian and Chinese, an employer need not provide a Japanese notice to an employee whose primary language is Japanese.  Rather, the employer complies with Section 195 by providing the notice in English.  As of the date of this Alert, the Department of Labor has not published any non-English template notices.  

The Act also requires that the notice 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 such employee was (i) in the language so identified, or (ii) in English because the Department of Labor has not published template notices in the employee’s primary language.

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

Putney, Twombly, Hall & Hirson LLP