The New York State Wage Theft Prevention Act imposes severe penalties on employers who do not comply.
In the past, section 195 of the New York Labor Law required employers to notify new employees of their pay rate overtime rate and payday. The new act greatly expands that requirement. It also requires that employees be given written notice of any change in terms of wages at least seven days in advance. In addition, it increases the damages for unpaid wages from 25% to 100% and imposes fines of up to $20,000 on employers for wage violations. Apr
Starting on April 9, 2011, New York employers will be required to provide notices to current employees each year. Even more restrictive, the state requires that the notices be in English and in any language that the employee designates as his or her primary language. Apparently, that means if an employee claims Navaho or Klingon is his primary language, the employer must furnish a copy in Navaho or Klingon.
Those notices must include:
· Whether the employee’s wages are based on the hour, week, shift, day, commission, piece rate or salary basis – or another basis.
· The employee’s rate of pay, rate for overtime if applicable, and payday.
· The full legal name of the employer and any DBA or “doing business as” names.
· The street address of the main office (or principal place of business) and the mailing address if it is not the same
· The employer’s telephone number
Every employee must receive the notice each year by February 1. The employer must retain a written acknowledgment from the employee stating that the employee has received the information in English and his or her primary language. Employers must keep such notices on file for at least six years.
New York employers are also required to inform new hires of their work hours, and any benefits offered, in writing. That requirement has not changed.
Each pay period, employees must receive a paycheck stub or statement that includes the employee’s name, rate of pay and basis, deductions and net wages and payroll week. The statement must include any allowances against the minimum wage (meals, tips or lodging) claimed by the employer. The employer’s business name, address and phone must also be listed. The statement must include the hourly rate, overtime rate, and number of hours worked (regular and overtime) for non-exempt employees. For piece-rate employees, there must be a computation of how the pay rate was arrived at.
The law also gives the employee the right to request a written explanation of how wages were computed.
If a new employee is not provided with the notice, he can recover up to $2,500 from the employer. If the employee does not receive a wage statement each payroll period, he can recover up to $100 per week, up to $2,500. In addition, the employee may be awarded attorney’s fees and court costs.
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