Gallet Dreyer & Berkey, LLP | New Law Requires Employers to Give Annual Pay Notice to All Employees Starting January 2012
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New Law Requires Employers to Give Annual Pay Notice to All Employees Starting January 2012

09/09/2011 | Fall 2011 Newsletter
Starting January 2012, New York employers must give an annual pay notice to every employee explaining their pay rate and obtain a signed acknowledgement, between January 1 and February 1 each year, even if their pay rate has not changed. It also must be given to new employees at the time of hire.

The notice can be given electronically, as long as the employee acknowledges receipt of the notice, the employee can print the notice, and the employer keeps a copy of the notice and acknowledgement. The notice must be in English and the employee’s primary language if other than English. The employer must keep a copy of the notice and acknowledgment for six years.

The notice must state: 1) the employee’s rate of pay, 2) how the employee is paid (i.e., hourly, salary, commission), 3) the designated regular payday, 4) the employer’s name, business name, address, and phone number, and 5) if it applies, the overtime wage rate and any allowances (tip credits or meal allowances) used to comply with the minimum wage.

If an employer wants to reduce an employee’s pay rate during the course of the year, the employer must give the employee at least seven days advance written notice and obtain a signed acknowledgment before making the change. No advance notice is required before increasing pay.

The new law requires that every pay stub must include detailed information including the employee’s name, the employee’s pay rate, how the employee is paid (i.e., hourly, salary, commission), regular and overtime hours worked (if paid hourly), dates covered by the payment, gross pay, deductions and allowances, and employer’s name, address and phone number. This information can be provided electronically instead of in writing, as long as the employee can print it out and the employer keeps a copy.

The Department of Labor can impose penalties for non-compliance, and employees can sue for violations.