New York law seeks to ensure fair pay
A new law in New York aims to ensure that employers pay statutorily mandated minimum wages and overtime. The Wage Theft Prevention Act, signed into law by Gov. David Paterson on Dec. 13, requires annual notifications of wages, expands those notifications, enhances available remedies for wage law violations and strengthens whistleblower protections.
“At a time when so many New Yorkers are living paycheck to paycheck, it is vital that we protect the right to receive their hard-earned pay and afford them every protection against wage theft,” Paterson said in a statement. “I am proud to sign this legislation, which will combat misconduct by unscrupulous employers who fail to pay statutorily- mandated minimum wages and overtime.”
The Wage Theft Prevention Act enacts more stringent and transparent record-keeping and employee notification requirements; increases the amount of wages that can be recovered as damages in a suit for non-payment over and above the lost wages themselves — from 25 percent to 100 percent; creates stronger collection tools; raises criminal penalties for failure to pay minimum wage to up to a year in prison and a $5,000 fine; and strengthens protections for whistleblowers in cases involving wage violations.
Read Patterson’s statement on the Wage Theft Prevention Act.