When Your Holiday Shopping List Includes the New York State Wage Theft Prevention Act

Posted on November 23, 2011 by author in Best Practices, Legal

By Sarah Weinstein, a member of TriNet’s Human Capital Services team

Oh, November. That time of year to give thanks, celebrate with loved ones and reflect on the year almost gone by. So much still to do! Turkeys to be carve, holiday presents to wrap, New Year’s plans to make and the New York State Wage Theft Prevention Act to comply with. Huh…wait…what!?

Ahh, now I got your attention. Forgive the rude intrusion to your holiday planning but alas, the February 1, 2012, deadline for wage notices is coming just like Aunt Edna’s holiday fruitcake. But, as unpalatable as the thought is, provided below are a few easy steps on how best to comply with the legislation.

First, let’s refresh; What does the WTPA require? Well, all NYS workers without exception must receive yearly pay notices between (January & February 1) in their primary language and be free from retaliation for complaining about possible violations of the Labor Law. Sound familiar?  If not, more information can be found on the New York State Department of Labor website.If you’re a client, we offer east-to-access information on our portal, on HRPassport.

Step 1: In December, send an email to all of your New York State-based employees asking for their “primary language.” See sample language below.

{Dear Employees:

In compliance with the New York Wage Theft Prevention Act that was enacted on April 9, 2011, (Company Name) will provide you with a wage notice prior to February 1, 2012. The law also requires that the wage notice be provided to you in your primary language. Therefore, it is necessary for (Company)  to collect your primary language information. Please reply to this email with your “primary language” by (insert date) so that we may generate your wage notice in time to comply with the act requirements. Please note that the NYS Department of Labor only has forms in seven languages (Spanish, Korea, Russian, Chinese, Haitian-Creole, Polish & English). If you speak another language your wage form will be provided in English.}

Step 2: Between Jan. 1-Feb. 1, provide each New York State employee with a wage notice in their primary language.  Again, our clients can find these notices on HRPassport via Myself>Forms>Payroll. Others should visit this page of the NYS DOL website.

Step 3: Have each employee sign their notice and keep a copy of the notice in each employee’s file for six years.

Voila! You are done faster than you can sing Auld Lang Syne. So enjoy your turkey, eat your pie and look forward to 2012!