Governor Cuomo Signs Bill Repealing Annual Wage Notification
After myriad delays, on December 29, 2014, Governor Cuomo signed into law an amendment to the New York Labor Law that repeals the annual wage notice requirement of the Wage Theft Prevention Act (WTPA). Although the amendment does not technically become effective until February 27, 2015 (i.e., after the January 31, 2015, deadline to provide the annual wage notices), the New York State Department of Labor has announced that it will not enforce the annual notice requirement for 2015. Moreover, Governor Cuomo issued a memorandum outlining his agreement with legislators to “accelerate the effective date … to remove the notice requirement on employers for the 2015 calendar year.” The upshot is that employers will not be required to provide the annual WTPA wage notice to New York employees for 2015.
As a reminder, employers will still be required to provide the WTPA wage notice to every New York employee at the time of hire, and to certain employees upon a change in their payrate (except if the payrate increases, in which case the employer may simply provide the information on a paystub). The recent amendments, among other things, actually increase penalties for failing to provide employees with the WTPA wage notice at the time of hire or upon a change in payrate.
Moreover, apart from the WTPA, the New York Hospitality Minimum Wage Order still requires that certain workers (such as minimum wage or tipped employees) in the hospitality industry receive a new notice of payrates each time their compensation changes. As of December 31, 2014, the New York State minimum wage increased to $8.75 per hour and the available tip credit for employers also increased. As a result, the wage notice will need to be reissued to a hospitality industry employee if the information previously provided (including the employee’s payrate or the amount of any tip credits taken by the employer) is outdated.
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