On December 29, 2014, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill amending the New York State Wage Theft Prevention Act (WTPA). The key provisions of the amendments, which become effective on February 27, 2015, include elimination of the annual wage notice requirement to existing employees as well as increased penalties for non-compliance.
The new law no longer requires employers to provide annual wage notices (WTPA notices) and to obtain employee acknowledgements yearly between January 1 and February 1. With this change, except for employers in the hospitality industry, the Department of Labor will not enforce the annual notice requirement for 2015, and employers do not have to provide annual wage notices in 2016 or in future years.
Hospitality industry employers must issue new pay notices to their employees earning minimum wage in 2015 and 2016. The Department of Labor’s Minimum Wage Order for the hospitality industry requires that employees receive a new pay notice each time his or her pay rate changes. Because the hourly minimum wage in New York increased to $8.75 per hour on December 31, 2014, and to $9.00 per hour on December 31, 2015, employers in the hospitality industry are still required to issue new pay notices in 2015, 2016, or in any subsequent year in which a statutory wage change takes effect.
All other employers still must obtain signed acknowledgments from new employees that the employees have received wage notices in English, and if an employee’s primary language is Spanish, Haitian-Creole, Russian, Polish, Chinese or Korean, in the primary language as well, and issue written notices to employees when wage rates or other WTPA-required information changes.
Under the new law, employers will also face increased penalties for non-compliance, for example when failing to provide new employees with the required notice within 10 days of hire as well as failing to provide employees with wage statements along with each wage payment.
For more information on Paypro’s WTPA service please click here.