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New York State Department of Labor Issues Model Forms and Guidance Regarding the New York Wage Theft Prevention Act

April 8, 2011

On April 9, 2011, the New York Wage Theft Prevention Act (the “Act”) will take effect.  As discussed in our December 28, 2010 Alert (see New York Enacts Wage Theft Prevention Act http://www.kmm.com/articles-433.html), the Act amends the New York Labor Law by placing new notice and recordkeeping requirements on employers and enhancing employee protections and remedies for violations of the law.  To assist employers in understanding and complying with their obligations under the Act, the New York State Department of Labor (“NYSDOL”) recently issued model forms and guidance regarding the Act. 

Background Regarding Required Employer Actions Under the Act

In our December 28 Alert, we summarized, among other things, the actions New York employers must take to comply with the Act’s requirements.  Highlights of the required employer actions include the following:

  1. Employers must notify employees in writing regarding the employees' rates of pay, regular pay days, and certain other new information (the “Notice”). 
  1. Employers must notify employees if information previously provided under the Act’s notice requirements changes. 
  1. Employers must provide employees with certain new information in their wage statements.
  1. Employers must retain the required employee notices and other payroll information for six years.  

Model Forms and Guidance Issued by the NYSDOL

The NYSDOL recently published on its website: (a) frequently asked questions about the Wage Theft Prevention Act; (b) model notices that employers may use to comply with their notice obligations under the Act; and (c) instructions and guidelines regarding employers’ use of the NYSDOL’s model notices.  These materials can be found at http://www.labor.ny.gov/workerprotection/laborstandards/workprot/lshmpg.shtm

The NYSDOL’s materials provide helpful information regarding: (a) the distribution of the Notices electronically; (b) employers’ use of their own forms in lieu of the NYSDOL’s model forms; (c) information that must be provided to exempt and non-exempt employees; (d) information that must be provided to employees who do not speak English as their primary language; (e) the timing of the yearly Notice; and (f) the treatment of employees who receive commissions or participate in a bonus and incentive compensation plan.  The NYSDOL’s materials also indicate that the NYSDOL will issue a sample wage statement to clarify for employers the information that must be provided in the employees’ wage statements.

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Please do not hesitate to contact any of our attorneys if you have any questions regarding the Act and the steps that must be taken to comply with the Act’s requirements.