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NY Employers MUST Send Annual Wage Rate Notices to All Employees in January!

January 2012
Tal Marnin

As described in February 2011 and April 2011 Alerts, all New York employers, other than governmental agencies, must give written notice to, and obtain a written acknowledgement from, employees at the time of hiring (before any work is performed) and annually between January 1 and February 1 of each year, of certain wage-related information. The New York State Department of Labor ("NYS DOL") has posted model notices here on its website. The notices must be provided to employees in English and in the employee's primary language as identified by each employee (for now, only if such primary language is Chinese, Haitian Creole, Korean, Polish, Russian or Spanish). Employers may use the NYS DOL forms or develop their own notices so long as the notices contain all of the information required by law and are on their "own form" (i.e., not combined with another form or included within an offer letter or employment agreement). Employers must provide different forms to employees who are exempt from overtime pay and those who are not exempt from overtime pay, but employers do not have to identify the specific state (or federal) exemption for workers exempt from overtime requirements. The NYS DOL published on its website, among other things, Frequently Asked Questions about the Wage Theft Prevention Act, Guidelines for Written Notice of Pay Rates and Regular Pay Day and Model Notices (as well as different rules for temporary help firms). Employers must keep the signed acknowledgements for six years.

In addition to the above, employers must notify employees in writing of any changes to the information set forth in the wage notices, at least seven calendar days prior to the time of such changes (unless such changes are reflected in the wage payment statements provided with every payment of wages). The NYS DOL has clarified that (i) except for employers in the hospitality industry, advance notice is not required for pay increases if shown on the next payment of wages and (ii) an employee must be notified in writing prior to any pay decreases (the NYS DOL seems to be taking the position that separate, written notice for pay decreases must be provided regardless of whether such information is included in wage statements).

If we can assist you with complying with these notice requirements, please do not hesitate to contact us.


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