Sunday, January 27, 2013

PIANY legislative/regulatory update

PIANY legislative/regulatory update—Jan. 25, 2013

PIANY legislative/regulatory update
Wage Theft Prevention Act employee notices must be distributed by Feb. 1, 2013
Employers who have employees in New York are required to issue annual notices under the Wage Theft Prevention Act to all New York employees between Jan. 1-Feb. 1, 2013.

The New York State Department of Labor released sample notification templates and related information which will assist New York employers in complying with the act.
The department issued notification templates for the following groups of employees:
hourly rate employees;
multiple hourly rate employees;
employees paid a weekly rate or a salary for a fixed number of hours (40 or fewer in a week);
employees paid a salary for varying hours, day rate, piece rate, flat rate or other nonhourly basis;
prevailing rate and other jobs; and
exempt employees.
The dual-language templates are available here.
The department also issued Guidelines for written notice of rates of pay and regular payday, as well as instructions related to the templates.
Finally, the department also issued a document titled, “Frequently Asked Questions About the Wage Theft Prevention Act,” which provides answers to many of the most common questions employers have about the act, along with a fact sheet.

The Wage Theft Prevention Act
The Wage Theft Prevention Act, which was originally signed into law in December 2010, increases penalties for the failure of employers to pay statutorily mandated minimum wage and overtime; requires annual notifications of wages and expands notifications; increases penalties for wage law violations; and strengthens whistleblower protections. The legislation enacts a wide-ranging series of measures to provide information to workers on the wages they are owed, and to increase the sanctions for those who fail to comply with wage and hour laws.

The law:
enacts more stringent and transparent record-keeping and employee notification requirements;
increases the amount of wages that can be recovered as damages in a suit for nonpayment over and above the lost wages themselves from 25 percent to 100 percent, the amount allowable under federal law;
creates stronger collection tools;
raises criminal penalties for failure to pay minimum wage to up to a year in prison and a $5,000 fine; and
strengthens protections for whistleblowers in cases involving wage violations.
PIANY legislative/regulatory update

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