On February 29, 2012, the New York State Senate passed Bill S60631-2011, which would eliminate the annual notice requirement under the New York State Wage Theft Prevention Act, which we discussed in a prior post. The Bill does not add text to the Wage Theft Prevention Act, and keeps intact the notice requirements for new hires, but deletes the language regarding the requirement that such notices be provided "on or before February first of each subsequent year of the employee's employment with the employer...."
The Bill was introduced by Senator DeFrancisco on January 4, 2012. The Senate Memo summarizing the Bill explains, as its justification, that the annual notice requirement "imposes a new administrative cost on every private sector employer in the state, with aggregate costs in the millions of dollars, and will do little to improve overall compliance with the state's wage laws. The Department of Labor has conceded that wage compliance is an issue for only a small percentage of New York State employers, despite the universal application of this annual notice requirement. This type of annual notification requirement should be reserved for instances where non-compliance has been an issue, however, as an across the board measure, it will add costs and provide little if any additional benefit. Moreover, this modification to the WPTA leaves in place its most significant reforms intended to assure payment of all wages earned by employees."
Now that the Bill has passed the Senate, it has been delivered to the Assembly, where an identical bill (A08856) is pending, and if passed by the Assembly, will be presented to the Governor for signature. New York employers should stay tuned for further developments on this Bill.
This post was authored by Matt Lampe and Joseph Bernasky of Jones Day. The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Jones Day or the New York State Bar Association.