On December 29, 2014, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill amending the New York State Wage Theft Prevention Act (the "Act") in various respects, including by eliminating the requirement that before February 1 of each year, employers notify and receive written acknowledgment from all employees regarding their rate of pay, allowances, payday and related information. The New York State Department of Labor has stated publicly that, "given the pending enactment of this chapter amendment, the Department will not require annual statements in 2015." Employers do remain obligated, however, to provide pay notices to all new hires.
Except as described above, the amendments to the Act will take effect on February 27, 2015 (60 days after the governor signed the bill into law). These amendments include increased penalties for employers that fail to provide new employees with the required notice within 10 days of hire, from $50 per worker, per workweek, to $50 per worker, per workday, up to a maximum penalty of $5,000. Employers will also face increased penalties for failing to provide employees with wage statements along with each wage payment. Under the amended Act, the employee and the New York State Department of Labor (“NYSDOL”) each may recover up to $250 from an employer for each workday it does not comply with the wage statement requirement, up to a maximum of $5,000.