On Repeat: NYS Employer Annual Wage Notices Due February 1st

It’s that time of year again. New York State employers are required to give workers (both new hires and existing employees) a notice of wage rates by February 1st every year. The notice should be in English and the employee’s primary language, and employers must obtain acknowledgement of receipt from each employee. The acknowledgement of receipt must be kept on file for six years, and failure to comply with the requirement can result in a penalty of $50 per employee.

While some employers have payroll companies that include the notice with employees’ pay stubs, this annual notification requirement is on the long-list of regulatory hassles that many small business owners personally handle. The mandate has aggregate costs of millions of dollars annually in time, labor and administrative burden for business owners.

The required information of the annual pay notice includes:
-Rate of pay
-Overtime rate of pay
-Basis (hourly, weekly, salary, etc.)
-Allowances
-Employer name or DBA
-Employer address
-Mailing address (if different)
-Employer phone number

If you’re thinking that this information sounds exactly like the pay information that State Labor Law requires on each pay stub anyway, you’re correct. Including this information on every pay stub throughout the year protects workers’ rights by giving employees the opportunity to question or inquire about any pay that appears to be wrong. Plus, there’s a separate requirement that employers must provide a written explanation of how individual employee wages are calculated, if requested by the employee. The additional annual wage notice requirement therefore offers few benefits to employees but imposes significant costs on employers.

NFIB-NY has long supported legislation to repeal the annual notice requirement as a means of providing compliance relief to employers while still protecting workers’ rights. After NFIB-NY and other business groups called for a vote on the legislation in 2012, the New York State Senate passed the bill, but the Assembly failed to act.

The bill (S.2313/A.2482) is a key piece of NFIB-NY’s 2014 legislative agenda and will be a topic of discussion with lawmakers throughout the session, as well as a focus of Small Business Lobby Day on March 12, 2014. To register to attend Small Business Lobby Day, please contact Erin DeSantis at (518) 434-1262 or erin.desantis@nfib.org.

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About Mike Durant

Mike Durant was named New York State Director of NFIB in May 2011. Prior to joining NFIB as the Assistant State Director in May 2010, Durant began his career in the New York Senate working in the Office of Member Services. From there, he served in a number of positions during former New York Governor George E. Pataki’s administration. As a Research Specialist in the New York State Office of Demographic Policy, Mike was responsible for drafting a redistricting proposal for Governor Pataki. In addition, Mike served as a Research Specialist for the Empire State Development Corporation, as well as the Associate Commissioner of Human Resource Management with the New York Department of Labor. Durant also spent four years working at the Questar III BOCES as a specialist focusing on the complex formulas that drive aid to school districts across the state while also taking a lead role in the state legislative/budget process as it related to education policy. These past positions have given Mike a deep understanding of the complex political economics of the State of New York. Active in the community, Durant has served on a number of boards in both the village of Ballston Spa and Town of Milton. Durant received his bachelor’s degree from Siena College in Loudonville, New York and resides in Ballston Spa with his wife and two children.
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