The New York Legislature recently passed a new law that requires greater communication and transparency from employers in the hiring and firing process. Employers who fail to comply risk incurring penalties and unwanted scrutiny of labor and employment policies and practices. The Labor & Employment team at Reed Smith is here to help employers comply with this new statute and avoid undesirable consequences.

Pursuant to McKinney’s Labor Law § 195, New York employers must now provide any new employee hired on or after October 26, 2009, with information on the following subjects:

  • Rate of Pay: Employers must provide the employee with the employee’s regular hourly rate of pay, overtime rate of pay (if applicable), and regular payday at the time the employee is hired.
  • Written Acknowledgement: Employers must obtain written acknowledgment of the rates of pay and the regular payday from each employee at the time the employee is hired. The form and content will be provided by the Commissioner of Labor at a later date.
  • Payday Changes: Employers must notify employees of any change in paydays before the change.
  • Wage Statement: Employers must provide each employee with every payment of wages, listing gross wages, deductions and net wages, and must, at the employee’s request, explain how the wages were computed.
  • Recordkeeping Requirements: Employers must establish, maintain and preserve records showing the hours worked, gross wages, deductions, and net wages for each employee, for not less than three years.
  • Time-Off Policies: Employers must notify employees in writing or by publicly posting the employer’s policy on sick leave, vacation, personal leave, holidays and hours.
  • Termination: Employers must notify any employee terminated from employment – in writing – of the exact date of termination, as well as the exact date of cancellation of employee benefits connected with the termination. Notice must be provided within five working days of the actual date of termination. Failure to notify an employee of cancellation of accident or health insurance subjects an employer to penalties, including a fine of up to $5,000 paid to the Commissioner of the New York State Department of Labor, as well as potential liability in a civil action brought by the employee in which damages may include reimbursement for medical expenses that were not covered by the insurer because of the termination of the employee without notice.