The New York Wage Theft Prevention Act was enacted in 2011 as a way of helping to prevent wage and hour violations and other workplace disputes in New York.  The main requirement of the Act is that the employer give written notice of the employee’s wage rates.  These must be provided both to current employees and new hires.

What Should the Written Notice Include?

According to the Act, the written notice needs to include:

  • The rates of pay, including overtime rates if applicable
  • Whether the employee is to be paid hourly, by shift, commission, by week or day, etc.
  • The date of regular paydays (usually twice a month in New York)
  • Name and contact information of the relevant parties
  • Allowances for meals, tips, lodging, etc.

Lastly, the notice should be in English as well as the worker’s primary language if this is a factor.

What if the Wage Prevention Act is Violated?

Violations of the New York Wage Prevention Act can lead to liability for the employer.  For instance, they may be subject to citation or to civil fines for serious violations.

In addition, if the violation has caused the employee to suffer losses, the employer may need to make legal reimbursements for the losses.  This may include a damages award and other measures such as a change in company policies.  Violations should be reported by filing with a New York state agency like the Department of Labor.  More serious violations may be heard through a federal entity like the EEOC, or by filing a private lawsuit if allowed.

Do I Need a Lawyer for Help With New York’s Wage Theft Prevention Act?

Employers need to follow the Wage Theft Prevention Act in order to prevent any instances of loss of wages or other issues.  You may need to hire a qualified New York employment lawyer if you need help with any wage laws in your area.  Your attorney can help you file a claim for a remedy, and can provide representation during formal hearings.