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Reminder for New York Employers: February 1 Deadline for Wage Theft Prevention Act Annual Notices

The New York Wage Theft Prevention Act ("WTPA") requires employers to provide all New York employees with an annual notice regarding their compensation and other terms of employment. The notice must be provided to all employees between January 1 and February 1 of each year, regardless of length of employment or whether compensation has changed. Accordingly, all employees must receive a written WTPA notice on or before February 1.

The notice must include the following information:

  1. Rate or rates of pay, including overtime rate of pay and basis thereof;
  2. How the employee is paid, for example, whether the employee is paid bythe hour, shift, day, week, salary, piece, commission, or another measure;
  3. Allowances, if any, claimed as part of the minimum wage, including tip,meal, or lodging allowances;
  4. regular payday;
  5. name of the employer and any DBA names used by the employer;
  6. physical address of the employer’s main office or principal place ofbusiness and the mailing address if different; and
  7. telephone number of the employer.

Although employers are permitted to use any form that includes this required information, the New York State Department of Labor ("NY DOL") has published template notices on its website. Here are links to samples of two of the most common notices used by employers – a template notice for exempt employees and a template notice for hourly employees. For exempt employees, employers should list compensation as a weekly or bi-weekly amount, rather than as an annual salary. Template forms for other types of compensation arrangements are available on the NY DOL website.

The WTPA notice must be provided both in English and the employee’s primary language (if the NY DOL offers a translation). The NY DOL currently provides template notices in Spanish, Chinese, Haitian Creole, Korean, Polish and Russian on its website.

Employers must obtain a signed acknowledgement of receipt of the annual notice from each employee, including an affirmation by the employee that the employee accurately identified to the employer his/her primary language, and that the notice was in the language so identified. Employers must provide employees with a signed copy. Signed acknowledgments must be retained for at least six years.

In addition to annual notices, WTPA notices must be provided at the time of hire and to current employees in advance of a reduction in pay. A new notice is not required for pay increases if the new rate is shown on the wage statement accompanying the next payment of wages, except for employers in the hospitality industry who must provide new notice upon any compensation change. 

This Alert has been prepared by Sills Cummis & Gross P.C. for informational purposes only and does not constitute advertising or solicitation and should not be used or taken as legal advice. Those seeking legal advice should contact a member of the Firm or legal counsel licensed in their state. Transmission of this information is not intended to create, and receipt does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. Confidential information should not be sent to Sills Cummis & Gross without first communicating directly with a member of the Firm about establishing an attorney-client relationship.   

Copyright © 2012 Sills Cummis & Gross P.C. All rights reserved.National Law Review, Volume III, Number 19


About this Author

Jill Turner Lever, Employment Attorney, Sills Cummis, Separation Agreements Lawyer
Of Counsel

Jill Turner Lever practices in all aspects of employment law.  She advises clients on a wide range of employment law issues including day-to-day advice and counsel on compliance with federal, state and local employment laws.  Ms. Lever drafts employment agreements, separation agreements, employee handbooks and human resources policies.  She provides advice on handling complaints of sexual and other forms of workplace harassment.  

Grace Byrd Employment Attorney Sills Cummis Law Firm
Of Counsel

Grace A. Byrd is Of Counsel to the Sills Cummis & Gross Employment and Labor Practice Group.

Ms. Byrd has worked with business owners, executives and other professionals to develop and execute well–thought–out and practical legal strategies to effectively achieve their litigation and business goals.  She counsels with an eye towards helping clients meet their business objectives while remaining legally compliant.

She has represented corporate clients from a range of industries, including financial services, health care, pharmaceutical, hospitality and manufacturing, among others, in connection with employment disputes before federal and state courts and agencies.  In addition to her litigation practice, Ms. Byrd frequently counsels management regarding the implementation of employment policies and personnel issues that arise in the workplace, such as family and medical leave eligibility, disability accommodations, wage and hour matters, reductions-in-force, and hiring and discharge of personnel.

She provides training to employees and management level personnel on various topics including anti-harassment, diversity, ethics and whistleblowing.  Ms. Byrd also conducts in-house harassment investigations, drafts and updates personnel policies and employment handbooks, and drafts and negotiates separation agreements and employee contracts.