NY Wage Theft Prevention Act

Employers Beware: the NY Wage Theft Prevention Act is a Potential Misclassification Minefield! The NY Wage Theft Prevention Act, which became effective April 9, 2011, requires all private sector employers with New York employees (regardless of how many) to provide those employees with a "pay notice" at the time of hire and, subsequently, on a yearly basis. The notice must be in English and the employee’s primary language.  The notice can be paper or electronic.  Under the Wage Theft Prevention Act, the first annual notice period began January 1, 2012.  The pay notice must contain the following:

Rate of pay (including overtime, if applicable)

  • Method of payment (hourly, shift, day, week, commission, etc.)
  • Regular pay day
  • Official name of the employer, and any d/b/a's
  • Address and phone number of the employer's main office or principal location
  • Any allowances taken as part of the employee's wage (for example, tip, meal and lodging deductions).

Because these notices require an employer to state the method of payment and regular rate of pay, it is critical that the employer understand whether the employee is exempt from overtime.

This annual notice requirement is not a one-time event. Employers must provide these notices every year between January 1 and February 1, even if the information has not changed from the prior year.  The Act further requires that the notices be kept by the employer for six years and available for inspection by the NY Department of Labor.

Classification issues abound here.  If you have any questions about how to classify an employee (e.g., as exempt or non-exempt), or general questions about the Wage Theft Prevention Act contact us.  A mistake can cost you.