Due to a recent amendment to the New York wage payment laws, employers in New York State will be required to provide written notice of the following to new employees hired on or after October 26, 2009: (1) the employee’s regular rate of pay – and overtime rate, if the employee is eligible for overtime compensation; and (2) the employer’s designated paydays. Employers must also obtain a written acknowledgment from the employee of receipt of such notice.

We recommend that employers amend their offer letters to include the regular rate of pay for exempt employees expressed in a weekly or monthly rate (the annual rate can be included in parentheses, such as: “$4,000 per month (annualized at $48,000 per year),” to avoid any alleged contract for a year). For non-exempt employees, the offer letter should state the hourly and overtime rates such as: “$10 per hour or $15 per hour after forty hours per week.” As a reminder, we would urge clients to include employment at will disclaimer language as applicable.

Prior to the above legislation, New York employers were only required to advise new hires of their regular rate of pay and paydays. No written notice, written acknowledgment, or notice of the overtime rate were required. Accordingly, please ensure written notice with an acknowledgment is included in future offer letters after October 26, 2009.