On December 29, 2014, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill amending the N.Y. Wage Theft Prevention Act (“WTPA”) immediately eliminating the requirement that employers send annual WTPA wage rate and pay date notices to current employees between January 1 and February 1 of each year.  As we have previously reported, amendments to the WTPA were originally passed by the N.Y. Legislature over the summer; however, the Governor’s office did not sign them until now.   The Governor’s signing memorandum makes it clear that the annual notice requirement for employers is eliminated for the 2015 calendar year.

The N.Y. Department of Labor has placed the following statement on the WTPA section of its website:

“On December 29, 2014, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed a bill eliminating the requirement that before February 1 of each year, employers notify and receive written acknowledgement from every worker    about  their rate of pay, allowances, pay day, etc.   According to the signing statement, legislative leaders and the Governor have agreed to a chapter amendment to make the change effective immediately.  Accordingly, given the pending enactment of this chapter amendment, the Department will not require annual statements in 2015.  Please note, businesses are still required to notify employees  as required at the time of hire.”

The remainder of the amendments – including the amendments to increase penalties for violations of the wage payment provisions, the amendment to the limited liability company law to provide for liability for individual members, and the amendments to the N.Y. Finance Law to create a “Wage Theft Prevention Account”  - will take effect February 27, 2015.