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For Release — November 21, 2013

Business Council Urges Wage Theft Act Reform

ALBANY, N.Y. — Today, The Business Council of New York State, Inc., urged the legislature to repeal the annual wage notification provision of the Wage Theft Prevention Act in testimony given to an Assembly Labor Committee Hearing in Albany, N.Y.

“The wage notification and acknowledgement requirement of the Wage Theft Prevention Act provides little, if any, additional benefit to employees,” said Ken Pokalsky, vice president of government affairs for The Business Council of New York State, Inc. “Repealing this one specific mandate would eliminate unnecessary administrative costs this mandate imposes on private sector employers that are in full compliance with fair wage laws.”

The wage notification provision - adopted in 2010 - requires that, each January, private sector employers provide a written pay notice to each of their employees in New York state, and obtain a written acknowledgement of the receipt of such notice from each employee. The employer must retain the notices and written acknowledgement for six years.

Components of the annual pay notice are virtually identical to information employers already include on weekly or bi-weekly employee pay stubs, meaning that employers bear the additional administrative costs for providing the same information that employees have already received at least 26 times during the prior year.

Current law also requires employers to furnish a written explanation of how individual employee wages are computed, if requested by an employee.

The Business Council supported S.5885/A.8106, sponsored by Senator Savino and Assemblyman Heastie during the 2013 Legislative Session. This legislation leaves the majority of the Wage Theft Prevention Act intact while reducing compliance costs for in-compliance employers and providing stricter penalties for employers that actually violate fair pay laws.

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