As we previously reported here
on this blog, the Wage Theft Prevention Act enhances the notification burdens on New York employers and the penalties associated with violations of New York’s wage payment laws. Effective April 9, 2011, employers must give all New York employees a written notice of wages at the time of hire and annually and a wage statement compliant with the requirements of the Act.
On April 1, 2011, the New York State Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued guidelines and instructions for preparing wage notices as well as template forms for use by employers. In addition to the requirements set forth in the Act, the guidance and template forms suggest that employers notify exempt employees of the specific overtime exemption that applies to them. However, use of the proposed forms is not mandatory.
Because employers must provide employees a wage notice in English and the primary language of the employee, the DOL communicated that it intends to prepare template forms in English, Chinese, Haitian-Creole, Korean, Polish, Russian, and Spanish. According to DOL guidance, if a template in the primary language of an employee is not available from the DOL, then the employer need only provide notice to that employee in English.
Employers need to understand the requirements of the Act and ensure that they are providing employees compliant wage notices and statements. Counsel may be of assistance in drafting or reviewing these documents.