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.)
-Employer name or DBA
-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 firstname.lastname@example.org.