On December 13, New York Governor David Paterson signed into law the “Wage Theft Prevention Act,” a bill which provides new and expanded protections for workers under the New York State Labor Law. 

Among other provisions, the new law (which takes effect in 120 days) includes the following provisions:

·         An increase in the liquidated damages penalty for violations of Labor Law Article 6 from 25% to 100% — the amount available under the FLSA:

·         Any employee not provided with the new hire “rate of pay” notice required by N.Y. Labor Law § 195 may bring a cause of action to recover $50 for each workweek that such a violation occurs, as well as attorneys fees;

·         The notice previously required by Labor Law § 195 must now be provided to each employee in English and the language “identified by each employee as the primary language of such employee;” and

·         Expanded wage statements which include, among other new requirements, the employee’s basis of pay, whether hourly, piece rate, salary or other basis, and, for non-exempt employees, the applicable overtime rate. Under the new law, any change to an employee’s regular rate must be reflected in the wage statement, or in a revised Labor Law § 195 notice. 

We will provide further details regarding the obligations posed by this new law in the near future on www.JacksonLewis.com.