As we covered in the June 2014 issue of the New York eAuthority, the New York legislature adopted a bill that eliminates the annual notice requirement under the New York Wage Theft Prevention Act. At that time, it was believed that the bill, which had an effective date of 60 days after the governor’s signature, would become effective prior to the 2015 annual notice period. However, the bill was not delivered to Governor Andrew Cuomo until December 17, 2014, which created uncertainty regarding whether the annual notices would be required in 2015. 

In welcome news to New York employers, on December 29, 2014, Governor Cuomo signed the bill into law and approved a chapter amendment that eliminates the annual notice requirement beginning in 2015. Under his signing statement, Governor Cuomo approved the chapter amendment, which accelerates the effective date such that the law becomes effective immediately and “remove[s] the notice requirement on employers for the 2015 calendar year.” Pursuant to a notice on the New York Department of Labor’s (NYDOL) website, given the enactment, the NYDOL “will not require annual statements in 2015.” 

However, the NYDOL’s statement reminds New York employers that notices are still required at the time of hire. The new law increases the civil and private damages for failure to do so. The new law also contains language intended to increase joint liability among successor entities and limited liability corporations for wage and hour violations.

New York employers should be aware that they are not required to provide annual wage theft prevention notices beginning in 2015. However, especially given the increased penalties, New York employers should ensure that their onboarding processes for all new hires includes the notices.