Wage theft prevention in New York, part 2: employer violations
In part one of this post, we began discussing New York state’s Wage Theft Prevention Act (WTPA).
As we noted, the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) still sets overall wage-and-hour standards that apply across the nation. But in New York, the WTPA is also in play.
In this part of the post, we will take note of WTPA protections regarding payroll records and employees’ wage statements. We will also put these issues in the context of our firm’s practice on wage-and-hour disputes.
Regarding payroll records, even before the WPTA was passed, New York state law already required employers to keep payroll records for at least six years. That requirement has not changed.
The WTPA also makes clear, however, that employers also have an obligation to keep good records in an ongoing way from day to day. In other words, employers cannot merely make up records after the fact, such as at the end of the week or month. Instead, the payroll recording must be ongoing.
The New York State Department of Labor also makes clear in its summary of the WTPA that on paydays each employee is to be provided with a pay stub or other statement of wages. The WTPA sets forth the information that must be included in these statements.
In short, New York law contains many specific protections against wage theft that add to the baseline standards of the federal FLSA.
There are many different settings where workers may need these protections. These could include failure to pay overtime or incorrectly classifying employees for payroll tax purposes.
There are also often issues unique to specific industries. For example, deducting too much pay for tips can be an issue in the restaurant industry.
If you believe that an employer has violated fair wage laws, please visit our page on wage-and-hour disputes.