Annual Wage Notice Requirement Repealed

NYS Annual Wage Rate Notice Eliminated!

On December 29, 2014, Governor Cuomo signed a bill eliminating the Annual Pay Rate Notices!

What does this mean?

New York State employers are no longer required to issue the Annual Pay Rate Notices to employees on or before February 1 of each year.

What else do I need to know?

Employers are still required to provide written notice of Wage Rates to each new hire within 10 days of employment, receive written acknowledgement from the employee, and retain notices for 6 years. The notice must include:

  • Rate or rates of pay, including overtime rate of pay (if it applies)
  • How the employee is paid: by the hour, shift, day, week, commission, etc.
  • Regular payday and payroll frequency (weekly, biweekly, semi-monthly)
  • Official name of the employer and any other names used for business (DBA)
  • Address and phone number of the employer’s main office or principal location
  • Allowances taken as part of the minimum wage (tips, meal and lodging deductions)

Hospitality Employers take note:

Hospitality employers must provide employees with a new pay notice each time their pay rate changes. If hospitality employers have employees earning minimum wage, the minimum wage in NY increased to $8.75 per hour on 12/31/2014 & notices should have been provided.

Increased Penalties

The bill increases penalties for employers guilty of failing to comply with the Wage Theft Prevention Act and created the Wage Theft Prevention Enforcement Account. The state comptroller’s office will oversee the account. Any investigation of any alleged wage payment violations will cover the entire six-year statute of limitations period unless the Commissioner decides otherwise.

What are the Penalties?

Failure to provide the notice within 10 days of hire can result in fines of $50 per day up to $5,000

Failure to provide paystubs that comply with the WTPA are $250 per violation with a statutory cap on damages of $5,000

If the Commissioner obtains a judgment against an employer, a portion of the judgment must go to the employees harmed

Repeat offenders can be fined from $1,000 to $20,000

Other Need-to-Know Facts about WTPA

Personal Liability on LLCs

In an LLC, the ten members with the largest ownership interest are jointly liable for all debts, wages or salaries due and owing to the LLC’s employees. Wages or salaries are defined to include salaries, overtime, vacation, holiday and severance pay, employer contributions to pension or annuity funds, and any other money due or payable to employees. Employees may also recover liquidated damages, penalties, interest, and attorney’s fees or costs incurred in successfully pursuing such claims.

Successor Liability

Employers are prevented from evading their liabilities by forming “alter ego” companies. This means if an employer violates NYS Labor Law and has another firm that is similar in operation and ownership it can be deemed to be the same employer and be held responsible for liabilities.

Contractor Liability                                             

Construction contractors and subcontractors found to have failed to pay all wages to employees must provide written notice of the violations to all of their employees by enclosing the notice with employees’ wage statements.

Employers and business owners can contact Compass Workforce Solutions for help with compliance issues such as this and many, many more. Speak with one of our HR Business Partners today at 631.794.7400.