On December 13, 2010, New York passed the Wage Theft Prevention Act (“WTPA”). The WTPA, which amends the state’s labor law regarding wage payments, and becomes effective on April 12, 2011. It heightens the requirements of employers as relating to notice and the payment of wages while also stiffening the penalties for notice and payment failures.
The law currently in effect requires employers to inform new hires in writing of their designated pay date, rate of pay, and overtime rate, if applicable. The WTPA revises this portion of the law, placing further obligations on employers by requiring this notice to be issued not only upon hire but also by February 1 of every subsequent year. The WTPA also expands the information to be provided to include: the employee’s rate of pay and how it is paid (hourly, weekly, commission, etc.); allowances claimed against minimum wage (e.g., tip, meal or lodging credits); the employer’s regular pay day; the employer’s name and any “doing business as” names; the address of the employer’s main office or principal place of business and mailing address if different; the employer’s telephone number, plus any other information the Commissioner of Labor deems “material and necessary.” The notice must be provided in English, or in the employee’s primary language if his/her primary language is not English, and must be signed and acknowledged by the employee each time it is received.