The New York State Legislature recently passed amendments to New York Labor Law §193, to permit employers to make additional payroll deductions authorized in writing by employees. Governor Cuomo is expected to sign this bill into law very shortly.
What Deductions are Now Permitted?
Once signed into law by Governor Cuomo, and as authorized by their employees, employers may make the following deductions from employee wages:
- Insurance premiums;
- United States bonds;
- Pension, health, and welfare contributions;
- Repayment of pay advances;
- Repayment of accidental overpayments of wages;
- Deductions for purchases events sponsored by bona fide charitable organizations;
- Discounted parking passes and mass transit vouchers;
- Gym membership dues;
- Cafeteria, vending machine, and pharmacy purchases made at employer’s premises;
- Tuition, room, board and fees for educational institutions;
- Day care expenses;
- Payments for housing provided at no more than market rates by non-profit hospitals (i.e. housing for on-premises personnel) ; and/or
- Additional voluntary deductions agreed on by employer and employee.
It is the employer’s choice whether it wants to offer a permissible deduction. If the employer chooses to offer the permissible deduction to an employee, it is then the employee’s choice whether s/he wishes to authorize a deduction from his or her wages.
Prior to any pay deduction, the employee must receive, in writing from his or her employer, the full terms and conditions of the payment and or/its benefits and the full details on the deductions. After that full disclosure, the employee may decide whether to authorize the deduction. Any such authorization must be signed and dated by the employee.
- Amendments to take effect sixty (60) days from when Governor Cuomo signs bill into law
- Department of Labor to issue regulations on the timing and frequency of permissible deductions, the advance notice requirements, and a procedure to resolve any aspect of a deduction dispute
- Employer to maintain records of employee authorizations during their employment and for six (6) years following employment
- Every deduction authorization revocable at any time, with employer to stop deducting “as soon as practicable”
- These “add-on” deductions are permissible for only three (3) years after the effective date, meaning the Legislature will decide whether to extend or end the “add-ons.”