New York Wage Theft Prevention Act Amendments Awaiting Governor's Signature

by Proskauer Rose LLP

On June 19, 2014, both houses of the New York State Legislature passed a bill that would amend the N.Y. Wage Theft Prevention Act of 2010 (the "Act"). The amendments eliminate the annual wage rate notice requirement and increase the penalties for violations of the wage payment laws. It is expected that Governor Cuomo will sign the amendments and they will take effect 60 days after his approval.

The Amendments Repeal the Annual Notice Requirements

Of greatest interest to most employers, the amendments repeal the annual requirement for employers to issue a wage rate notice to each employee between January 1 and February 1, in English and in the employee's primary language, and obtain a signed certification that must be maintained on file for 6 years. This annual requirement was widely viewed as an unwarranted administrative burden on employers that did not provide substantial benefit to employees. If the legislation is signed by Governor Cuomo, employers will not need to issue these annual wage rate notices to employees in 2015 and in future years.

Nevertheless, the requirement to issue a wage rate notice to all new hires and the Act's document retention requirements are unchanged. Therefore, private employers should continue to timely provide all newly-hired employees with wage rate notices in their primary languages at the time of hire. Employers also should continue to maintain copies of all previously issued notices and acknowledgements, including those for any annual notices issued between 2011 and 2014, for at least six (6) years in accordance with the Act.

Amendments Create New and Increased Penalties for Wage and Hour Violations

The amendments awaiting the Governor's signature also create new liability and increase the current penalties for certain wage payment violations.

Most significantly, the amendments add two new subdivisions to the N.Y. Limited Liability Company Law, making the ten (10) members with the largest percentage of ownership interest in a limited liability company ("LLC") jointly and severally personally liable for all debts, wages or salaries due and owing to the LLC's laborers, servants or employees for services performed for the LLC. The percentage of ownership is to be determined as of the beginning of the period during which the unpaid services were performed. For purposes of this amendment, wages or salaries are defined as "all compensation and benefits payable by an employer to or for the account of the employee, servant or laborer, for services performed by them for such [LLC]." This includes, but is not limited to, salaries, overtime, vacation, holiday and severance pay, employer contributions to pension or annuity funds, and any other money properly due or payable for services rendered by such employee, servant or laborer, "including any concomitant liquidated damages, penalties, interests, attorneys' fees or costs." The amendments require that before an employee, servant or laborer can bring a charge against any of the ten (10) largest members of the LLC under the amendments, the members must be provided with 180 days' advance written notice. In addition, any of the ten (10) largest members who pays more than his or her pro rata share of wages or salaries may obtain a pro rata contribution from the other members with respect to any excess debts, wages, or salaries paid over that member's pro rata share.

In addition, the amendments:

  • increase the penalties for failures to comply with the Act (i.e., failure to provide timely notice) to $50 to $200 per day from $50 to $200 per week;
  • establish penalties of $1,000 to $20,000 for repeat offenders of the Act;
  • add provisions holding employers similar in operation or ownership to a prior employer liable for violations of the Act committed by the prior employer, which will prevent employers from evading the law by operating under a different name;
  • permit the Commissioner of Labor (the "Commissioner") to investigate alleged retaliation against an employee reporting wage violations for a six (6) year period;
  • require, rather than allow, the Commissioner to assign money due for certain violations of the Act to an employee;
  • require that if a contractor is found to have violated the Act, it will be required to notify all of its employees and subcontractor's employees of the violations; and
  • create a Wage Theft Prevention Enforcement Account under the custody of the NYS Comptroller to hold money collected for certain violations of the Act to be used to offset costs incurred by the Commissioner for the administration and enforcement of certain sections of the Act.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Proskauer Rose LLP | Attorney Advertising

Written by:

Proskauer Rose LLP

Proskauer Rose LLP on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
Sign up using*

Already signed up? Log in here

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Privacy Policy (Updated: October 8, 2015):

JD Supra provides users with access to its legal industry publishing services (the "Service") through its website (the "Website") as well as through other sources. Our policies with regard to data collection and use of personal information of users of the Service, regardless of the manner in which users access the Service, and visitors to the Website are set forth in this statement ("Policy"). By using the Service, you signify your acceptance of this Policy.

Information Collection and Use by JD Supra

JD Supra collects users' names, companies, titles, e-mail address and industry. JD Supra also tracks the pages that users visit, logs IP addresses and aggregates non-personally identifiable user data and browser type. This data is gathered using cookies and other technologies.

The information and data collected is used to authenticate users and to send notifications relating to the Service, including email alerts to which users have subscribed; to manage the Service and Website, to improve the Service and to customize the user's experience. This information is also provided to the authors of the content to give them insight into their readership and help them to improve their content, so that it is most useful for our users.

JD Supra does not sell, rent or otherwise provide your details to third parties, other than to the authors of the content on JD Supra.

If you prefer not to enable cookies, you may change your browser settings to disable cookies; however, please note that rejecting cookies while visiting the Website may result in certain parts of the Website not operating correctly or as efficiently as if cookies were allowed.

Email Choice/Opt-out

Users who opt in to receive emails may choose to no longer receive e-mail updates and newsletters by selecting the "opt-out of future email" option in the email they receive from JD Supra or in their JD Supra account management screen.


JD Supra takes reasonable precautions to insure that user information is kept private. We restrict access to user information to those individuals who reasonably need access to perform their job functions, such as our third party email service, customer service personnel and technical staff. However, please note that no method of transmitting or storing data is completely secure and we cannot guarantee the security of user information. Unauthorized entry or use, hardware or software failure, and other factors may compromise the security of user information at any time.

If you have reason to believe that your interaction with us is no longer secure, you must immediately notify us of the problem by contacting us at In the unlikely event that we believe that the security of your user information in our possession or control may have been compromised, we may seek to notify you of that development and, if so, will endeavor to do so as promptly as practicable under the circumstances.

Sharing and Disclosure of Information JD Supra Collects

Except as otherwise described in this privacy statement, JD Supra will not disclose personal information to any third party unless we believe that disclosure is necessary to: (1) comply with applicable laws; (2) respond to governmental inquiries or requests; (3) comply with valid legal process; (4) protect the rights, privacy, safety or property of JD Supra, users of the Service, Website visitors or the public; (5) permit us to pursue available remedies or limit the damages that we may sustain; and (6) enforce our Terms & Conditions of Use.

In the event there is a change in the corporate structure of JD Supra such as, but not limited to, merger, consolidation, sale, liquidation or transfer of substantial assets, JD Supra may, in its sole discretion, transfer, sell or assign information collected on and through the Service to one or more affiliated or unaffiliated third parties.

Links to Other Websites

This Website and the Service may contain links to other websites. The operator of such other websites may collect information about you, including through cookies or other technologies. If you are using the Service through the Website and link to another site, you will leave the Website and this Policy will not apply to your use of and activity on those other sites. We encourage you to read the legal notices posted on those sites, including their privacy policies. We shall have no responsibility or liability for your visitation to, and the data collection and use practices of, such other sites. This Policy applies solely to the information collected in connection with your use of this Website and does not apply to any practices conducted offline or in connection with any other websites.

Changes in Our Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to change this Policy at any time. Please refer to the date at the top of this page to determine when this Policy was last revised. Any changes to our privacy policy will become effective upon posting of the revised policy on the Website. By continuing to use the Service or Website following such changes, you will be deemed to have agreed to such changes. If you do not agree with the terms of this Policy, as it may be amended from time to time, in whole or part, please do not continue using the Service or the Website.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about this privacy statement, the practices of this site, your dealings with this Web site, or if you would like to change any of the information you have provided to us, please contact us at:

- hide
*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.