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Legislative Memo

Frank Kerbein
Director, Center for Human Resources
T 518.465.7517 x210
www.bcnys.org

BILL:

S.7790 (Young) / A.10785 (Morelle)

  Support

SUBJECT:

Authorized Deductions from Wages

 

S.7790 (Young) / A.10785 (Morelle)

DATE:

June 18, 2012

 

The Business Council supports this legislation that will broaden the ability of employers to make voluntary, pre-approved deductions from their employee’s pay when it is for the benefit or convenience of the employee.

As a result of the state court decision in Angelo v. Labor Ready issued in 2006, the Labor Department has interpreted state Labor Law as allowing only a limited number of deduction categories.  As such, deductions by employers had been permitted prior to the court case, such as easily correctable unintended paycheck overpayments, are now no longer permitted.

With electronic payroll systems now available for use by employers, many additional programs and services can be made available to employees who authorize them. Programs such as pay advances, low or no interest loans, meals in employer dining facilities, discounted employee on-site parking, prescription drug co-payments at employer operated pharmacies and others are allowed in many states and are popular with employers and employees alike.  But employers in New York have eliminated, discontinued or otherwise declined to involve themselves in such programs because of the potential enforcement liability.

As we work toward improvement of the state’s economy and the creation of jobs lost in the last several years, the Legislature needs to send loud and clear positive messages to businesses in and out of the state. Enactment of this bill sends such a message.

While this legislation offers a finite list of allowable deductions, and we had argued for broader discretion to be used by employees and employers to meet company-specific interests, we believe this legislation provides a workable approach and will be well received by most employees and employers in New York State.

For these reasons, The Business Council supports this legislation and strongly urges that it be enacted by the New York State Legislature.