The New York Wage Theft Prevention Act takes effect tomorrow, April 9, 2011, tasking employers with new record-keeping and wage notification mandates as well as increasing civil and criminal penalties for pay violations.

Under the law, employers must notify employees of their pay information on three separate occasions: at the time of being hired, at least seven calendar days prior to the time of any changes in the pay information, and on or before Feb. 1 of each year of employment.

The notifications must be in writing, be signed by the recipients, and include the following information:

  • the basis for the rate of pay (hourly, shift, day, week, salary, commission)
  • allowances, if any, including lodging, meal or tip
  • the employer's legal name and any DBAs
  • the physical address of the employer if different from the mailing address
  • the employer's telephone number
  • plus any other information the New York State Commissioner of Labor may deem essential

The act provides for civil penalties of up to $2,500, liquidated damages of up to $10,000, and criminal penalties of up to $20,000 and imprisonment for a year and a day.