The Wage Theft Prevention Act (or “WTPA”), which was enacted in 2011, obligates employers to provide certain notices to employees regarding their wages. WTPA requires that employers provide employees with yearly pay notices, proper wage statements and to refrain from retaliating against employees who complain about possible violations of the New York Labor Law. WTPA applies to any private employers who employ New York residents, including employers located outside of New York. Employers may incur civil and criminal penalties for failing to comply with WTPA, and the law affords employees private causes of action against employers who violate WTPA.
Section 195 of the New York Labor Law, as amended by WTPA, requires employers to provide notice to employees of , among other things, their rate(s) of pay, designated pay date, the employer’s intent to claim allowances (such as trip or meal allowances) as part of the minimum wage, and the basis of wage payment (whether paying by hour, shift, day, week, etc.). The notice must contain the employer’s d/b/a names and be provided at the time of hiring and each subsequent year of employment no later than February 1, and within seven days of a change if the change is not listed on the employee’s pay stub for the following pay period. Employers must provide this notice in the employee’s primary language and must maintain copies of payroll records for six years.
WTPA applies to all employees, including commissioned employees and union employees. If employees are paid on commission, the employees must receive and sign a copy of the commission agreement. Employers should attach the agreement to the pay notice and retain a copy of each document. For union employees, while union contracts may cover wage rates for multiple titles, they normally do not provide specific pay date or other information required by WFPA. Therefore, employers must provide WTPA compliant notices to union employees showing the wage rates that apply specifically to them. If an employee refuses to sign the WTPA notice, the employer should note the refusal to sign and retain a copy of the notice.
Employers can download WTPA notice templates and other documents related to the law at the following web address: http://www.labor.ny.gov/formsdocs/wp/ellsformsandpublications.shtm
If you have questions about WTPA or any other labor law issues, please call us at: 631-734-5700.