New York Businesses Face Feb. 1 Deadline for Wage Notices or Face Fines, Lawsuits

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HRTrain, a leader in human resources compliance, warns that businesses could be hit with fines of $50 per employee per day for failure to comply with New York State's Wage Theft Protection Act.

Millions of businesses throughout New York State could face stiff fines and lawsuits if they don’t comply with a new state labor law requiring that wage notices be acknowledged by all employees in New York between January 1 and February 1, says Robert D. Lipman, a leading labor lawyer.

“It’s shocking how many companies don’t know about this,” said Lipman, a partner in the Manhattan and Long Island law firm Lipman & Plesur LLP and president of HRTrain, a leader in the human resources compliance and online training industry. “People are just waking up to this.”

The law, he says, requires that each year between January 1 and February 1, each employee receive a notification that states:
    •Their rate of pay, including overtime.

  •      How the employee is paid: by the hour, shift, day, week or by commission.
  •     
  • What their regular payday is.
  •     
  • The official name of the employer or any name it uses in business.
  •     
  • The address and phone number of the employer’s main office or principal location.
  •     
  • Any allowances taken as part the minimum wage (such as tip, meal and lodging deductions).

The law, enacted earlier this year and officially called the Wage Theft Protection Act, also requires these notices to be in English as well as Chinese, Haitian-Creole, Korean, Polish, Russian and Spanish, depending on the primary language of the employee.

Moreover, there are different notices for different methods of compensation. One Department of Labor form notice asks as an optional question that employers identify the specific exemption for exempt employees. Most employment lawyers advise that employers modify this notice so no specific exemption is identified.

The requirements can be particularly burdensome to companies with hundreds or thousands of employees and that’s why HRTrain developed an automated system for distributing and collecting the information, said Allison Plesur, chief executive of HRTrain.

“It’s a big pain in the neck to comply with,” Lipman said of the notice requirement.

In particular, Plesur said, “employers dread having to ask their employees about their primary language, distribute the forms and ensure they are properly acknowledged. ”Our automated tool helps to ensure proper distribution and electronic acknowledgement of the forms.”

What happens if an employer fails to give notice? New York State can fine the business up to $50 per employee per week and employees can sue for up to $2,500 per employee.

HRTrain (http://www.hrtrain.com), founded in 1995 creates compliance tools and e-learning solutions using realistic and interactive interfaces and dynamic learning principals to help organizations fulfill their workplace compliance and training needs. For information call 888-HR-TRAIN.

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Alan J. Wax
WaxWords Incorporated
(631) 574-4433
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Robert Lipman
HRTrain
(516) 931-0050
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