Compliant NYS WTPA New Hire Forms Save Money in Business and at Work

Frankly, processing New Hire Paperwork in the great state of New York is bureaucratic at best.  At worst, when you as an employer do not complete the requisite New Hire Paperwork, such as the Wage Theft Prevention Act (WTPA) notice to a new employee upon hire, it can at minimum cost money: and at maximum, damage an employer’s reputation via bad publicity.

The requirements of the Wage Theft Prevention Act are straightforward, as illustrated by the employer information below from the NYS Department of Labor website:

The Wage Theft Prevention Act (WTPA) took effect on April 9, 2011.

The law requires employers to give written notice of wage rates to each new hire.

The notice must include:

  • Rate or rates of pay, including overtime rate of pay (if it applies)
  • How the employee is paid: by the hour, shift, day, week, commission, etc.
  • Regular payday
  • Official name of the employer and any other names used for business (DBA)
  • Address and phone number of the employer’s main office or principal location
  • Allowances taken as part of the minimum wage (tips, meal and lodging deductions)

The notice must be given both in English and in the employee’s primary language (if the Labor Department offers a translation). The Department currently offers translations in the following languages: Spanish, Chinese, Haitian Creole, Korean, Polish and Russian.

The real cost savings to employers in maintaining compliant WTPA forms are outlined in the Damages and Other Penalties section from the NYS DOL website, below – WTPA compliance can literally save you thousands of dollars as the employer:

Damages and Other Penalties

Employers that do not give wage statements may have to pay damages of up to $250 per day, per employee, unless they paid employees all wages required by law. (This stops at $5,000 per employee in civil lawsuits filed by employees.)

The WTPA provides for higher penalties when an employer fails to pay the wages required by law:

• Under prior law, liquidated damages only covered up to 25% of the unpaid wages. Now, the law provides for liquidated damages on up to 100% of the unpaid wages. Once DOL issues an Order to Comply, it includes 100% liquidated damages, as well as other civil penalties and interest.

• If the violation is for other than wages, benefits or wage supplements, DOL may assess civil penalties for each violation. This means up to $1,000 for a first violation, $2,000 for a second, and $3,000 for third and subsequent violations.

• If the Labor Commissioner has issued an Order to Comply against an employer who does not pay the money owed, then 10 days after the appeal period ends, DOL can require them to post a bond and/or provide a list of their assets. If employers fail to do so, the Commissioner may bring a court case against them. For failure to provide the list of assets, DOL may impose a penalty of up to $10,000.

• The WTPA permits DOL to add 15% in damages to a judgment if the employer fails to pay in full within 90 days of the final Order to Comply.

One of the best ways to save money on New Hire Paperwork in NYS is to issue completed WTPA notices to your new hires on their first day in business and at work.

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