N.Y.: Governor Signs Amendments to Wage Theft Prevention Act

By Rosemarie Lally Jan 20, 2015

An amendment to New York’s Wage Theft Prevention Act repeals the annual wage notification provision that was signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo Dec. 29, 2014.

The amendment, which was passed by the state legislature in June, took effect immediately, the New York Department of Labor said. Thus, employers are not required to distribute wage notices to their employees by Jan. 31, 2015. However, employers must continue to give the required pay notices to all new hires and to employees affected by any change in rate of pay. Employers also must continue to provide detailed wage statements with each paycheck.

Other amendments, which will go into effect Feb. 27, include the following:

*Penalties are increased for employers who commit wage theft, which includes failing to provide newly hired employees with wage notices. Failure to provide required pay notices will incur a $50 per day penalty – increased from $50 per week – up to a maximum of $5,000 per employee. Failure to provide proper wage statements will incur a $250 per day penalty – increased from $100 per week – up to a maximum of $5,000 per employee.

*Liability is imposed on “successor” businesses that either purchase entities that previously committed labor law violations or otherwise take over their operations. Under the new law, if a successor’s operations involve substantially the same work and working conditions, under substantially the same supervisors, and generally involve the same products and customers as the predecessor, the successor will be liable for any wage and hour violations caused by the predecessor entity.

*Civil penalties that may be issued by the Department of Labor for violations of New York’s Labor Law are doubled from a maximum of $10,000 to $20,000.

*The top 10 members of a limited liability company are personally liable for the wage and hour liability of the limited liability company.

Rosemarie Lally, J.D., is a freelance legal writer and editor based in Washington, D.C.

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