Pursuant to recently adopted amendments to the New York Wage Theft Prevention Act ("WTPA"), New York employers do not have to send out written wage rate notices each year to all of their employees (which employers were previously required to do between January 1 and February 1 of each year). Although the amendments are not yet technically effective, the New York State Department of Labor ("NYS DOL") has said that "the Department will not require annual statements in 2015."
New York employers, other than governmental agencies, are still required to provide wage rate notices to new hires prior to their commencing employment and to current employees in advance of any changes to the information set forth in the wage notices that they previously received (unless such changes are reflected in the wage payment statements provided with every payment of wages). The NYS DOL previously clarified that (i) except for employers in the hospitality industry, advance notice is not required for pay increases if shown on the wage statement for the next payment of wages but (ii) employees must be notified in writing prior to any pay decreases regardless of whether the decrease is reflected in future wage statements. The amendments to the WTPA also significantly increase the penalties for non-compliance with these notice requirements.
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