As reported here and here, the New York Department of Labor will have a full plate in 2011 enforcing both the new Hospitality Industry Wage Order (applicable to industry employers) and the Wage Theft Prevention Act (applicable to all employers in New York). The Hospitality Wage Order modifies many of the rules governing industry employers, and the dangers of non-compliance are magnified by the Wage Theft Act, which increases the penalties for all violations of Labor Law Article 6. Under the Act, liquidated damages for such violations increase from 25% to 100%. The Act also expands the wage notification requirements of New York Labor Law § 195.
In addition to liability for unpaid wages, penalties and attorneys’ fees, New York employers also could be faced with inclusion on the NYSDOL’s “Non-Compliant Labor Standards Employer Search” Internet database. See http://lsempviolations.labor.ny.gov/LSEmpViolations/index.faces. Violators are listed on this web site for six years.