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Client Advisory

December 2009

The purpose of this Client Advisory is to let you know of several changes in wage and hour laws and enforcement.

Written Payroll Notice for New Employees

As of October 26, 2009, pursuant to New York State Labor Law Article 6, Section 195(1), employers are required to notify all newly hired employees at the time of hiring and before they start work, in writing, of their regular rate of pay and regular pay day and also for nonexempt employees, their overtime rates of pay. Employers are also required to obtain from each new hire a written acknowledgment of receipt of this notice. A copy of this acknowledgment must be provided to the employee and kept by the employer for six years.

So far, the New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL) has published one form, “Labor Law Section 195(1) Notice and Acknowledgment of Wage Rate and Designated Payday Hourly Rate Plus Overtime.” While the NYSDOL previously stated that use of this specific form was mandatory, it has reversed its position and stated that employers may create their own forms or use and/or adapt the published form. This form is available on the NYSDOL’s website (www.labor.state.ny.us) (In the Search box enter LS 52) or upon request we will provide you with a copy. Other forms will be published in the future according to the NYSDOL’s website.

Increased Enforcement of Wage and Hour Laws

We have seen and experienced an increasing number of wage and hour audits, complaints and lawsuits filed by individuals and groups of employees. Accordingly, you may want to consider whether to conduct an internal audit of your wage and hour practices, especially if you have changed employment practices. In addition, we recommend that you have a clearly communicated policy and procedure to address wage complaints. There is a “safe harbor” policy available under the Fair Labor Standards Act which would help to avoid losing exempt status for an employee due to an accidental improper wage deduction.

We will be providing you with additional information about new and developing statutory requirements and developing labor and employment issues. In addition, our firm represents clients throughout the United States providing advice and litigating employment issues, such as wages and hours, discrimination and employment termination. We also draft and/or review employment handbooks and represent clients in labor management and union matters.

If you would like further information regarding the issues raised in this Advisory or any other employment matter, please contact Joel Spivak in our Employment Law Practice at 800-209-7206.