Governor Andrew Cuomo Signs Recent Amendments to the Wage Theft Prevention Act

January 5, 2015

On December 29, 2014, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the bill previously passed last summer by the New York State Legislature (the “Bill”) amending New York’s Wage Theft Prevention Act (the “WTPA”).

As reported in our Fall 2014 Newsletter, one of the notable aspects of the amendments to the WTPA was the easing of employers’ administrative burdens to comply with the WTPA’s reporting requirements. The amended WTPA changed New York labor law requirements so employers no longer need to provide an annual notice between January 1 and February 1 of each year to their employees detailing, among other things, the employee’s rate of pay and how it is measured and paid (a “Wage Notice”).

In the approval memorandum accompanying his signature, Governor Cuomo made clear that there is no requirement to issue the annual Wage Notice in 2015 even though the Bill does not become effective until February 27, 2015. It should be noted that although employers are no longer required to provide employees with an annual Wage Notice under the amended WTPA, employers are still required to provide new hires with a Wage Notice at the time of hiring.

In addition to the foregoing, the amended WTPA further expands the penalties for violations of the Wage Notice requirement and other wage violations, and enhances an aggrieved employee’s ability to enforce his or her rights. These additional provisions take effect on February 27, 2015.

If you have any questions or concerns about the subject of this client alert or employment law issues generally, please contact Anne C. Patin (212-574-1516) or Julia C. Spivack (212-574-1373) at Seward & Kissel.