The turn of the new year brings two significant changes for employers in New York State.

First, the Wage Theft Prevention Act has been modified to reduce a key requirement under New York’s Wage Theft Prevention Act.  Second, New York’s minimum wage has increased to $8.75 per hour.  We address each of these changes below.

New York’s Wage Theft Prevention Act (“WTPA”) is intended to keep employees informed of their rate of pay, overtime rate, allowances, payday, etc.  The most notable requirement was to provide each employee with a notice identifying pay-related items specific to each employee.  Previously, the WTPA required that each employee receive the notice at time of hire and every year before February 1.  After succumbing to pressure from employers and legislators, Governor Cuomo signed into law an amendment to the WTPA abolishing the annual requirement to issue WTPA wage notices.  This change is effective immediately for 2015 and beyond.  As a result of this change, employers are no longer required to provide the WTPA notice every year to every employee.  The WTPA still requires, however, that employers provide WTPA notices to each employee at the time of hire. For additional references and information about the WTPA, please see our previous client advisories, NY Wage Theft Prevention Act, NY Wage Theft Prevention Templates, and NY Wage Theft Prevention Act Notice.

Employers should also be aware that, effective December 31, 2014, the minimum wage for employees in New York increased to $8.75 per hour.  As a result, each employee receiving wages at the prior 2014 rate ($8.00 per hour) is entitled to a wage increase for 2015.  As a result of this change, employers should update their New York Minimum Wage posters that are required to be kept at a conspicuous location to reflect the new higher rate.  The updated New York Department of Labor minimum wage poster can be found here: 2015 New York Minimum Wage Poster. Employers should be aware that another increase is schedule to take effect on December 31, 2015, increasing the minimum wage to $9.00 per hour.

For questions related to the above topics or any other labor and employment concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us.