Does the New York Wage Theft Prevention Act Apply to You?

Jun 21, 2024 | Employing a Nanny, Payroll, Taxes & Labor Laws

Recent law updates impact household employers in New York, specifically the New York Wage Theft Prevention Act (WTPA). Our payroll partner, GTM Payroll Services, offers a look at what this law is, how it impacts household employers in New York, and what can happen if you are not in compliance.

Created in 2011, the New York Wage Theft Prevention Act (WTPA) mandates employers, including families with household help, to give formal written notice of employees’ wages, hourly rates, and any updates to their pay. This act aims to guarantee ethical behavior and a mutual agreement between employees and employers, ensuring no underlying legal issues. It should be followed by any employer, even if it is for only one employee. Recent updates to the state’s labor laws have put the WTPA back on the radar for employers.

Here’s what household employers in New York need to know.

What is considered wage theft?

Wage theft is not correctly paying employees the correct amount for their services. Keeping track of an employee’s paystub or wage statements is a way of avoiding accidentally committing wage theft. It is crucial to be aware of what is considered wage theft, including:

Forgetting overtime payment

Employees who work more time than their scheduled hours will need to be paid for those hours. An overtime rate of at least time and a half for hours worked over 40 in a workweek should be discussed beforehand, included in a nanny contract, and added to an employee’s notice of pay. An employer will face monetary punishment if the employee is not correctly paid for overtime hours or accurate time records are not recorded.

Pay below minimum wage

In New York, the minimum wage varies depending on location and the type of work. Failure to pay an employee minimum wage violates the New York State Theft Prevention Act and is considered a felony.

Review New York minimum wage rates for your area.

Failure to track an employee’s time

As an employer, tracking each employee’s work hours is important. This ensures your employee is paid the correct amount for the number of hours they worked. Failure to record this will increase the risk of incorrect payments. Always have a way of documenting any time an employee is on duty. To make time tracking easy, GTM offers HomePunch, an electronic solution that fully integrates with payroll to make timekeeping automated and easy for busy families.

Here are some additional frequently asked questions about New York Wage Theft Prevention.

What do household employers need to do?

A household employer should be prepared by having paperwork and notices of the payment system in the employee’s primary language. Two separate written notices, one for the employee and another copy for the employer, should be provided. To be considered valid, these notices must follow these requirements:

  • Rate or rates of pay, including an overtime rate of pay
  • How the employee is paid (in New York, household employees are required to be paid weekly)
  • Regular payday
  • Name of the employer
  • Address and phone number of the employer’s primary location (for household employers, this will typically be your home address)

It’s also required that household employers give each employee a wage statement or pay stub each payday that includes the information provided above and the employee’s name and dates covered by the payment.

If an employee asks how their wages were calculated, household employers must provide a written explanation.

What are the penalties for non-compliance?

Failure to provide a correct wage statement with all the obligations above can result in a $250 fine per day per employee. This will continue until the employee is correctly paid and provided with valid wage statements.

What are the recent updates and additions to the WTPA?

In March 2024, updates were made to Article 6 of the New York Labor Law impacting the WPTA. These changes include:

  • Employees making less than $1,300/week can now bring wage theft claims into court
  • Employees being paid under $1,300/week must now consent to be paid by direct deposit.
  • Wage theft is now emphasized as a felony, and any underpayment of wages can result in up to $20,000 in fines.

GTM can help

A reliable payroll solution is a smart way to reduce your risk of unintentional wage theft. We can help with accurate time tracking, compliance with minimum wage rates and overtime rules, and paystubs that meet the requirements of the WTPA. Manage your household payroll and tax obligations with ease and confidence. To learn more, talk with one of our household employment experts at (800) 929-9213 or schedule a time with us at your convenience. The consultation is free, and there is no obligation.

Hiring a Summer Nanny in New York?

Whether your kids will be at camp or at home during the summer, we have professional caregivers that can help. From camp drop-off and pickup to all day in-home care, we’ll find a child care solution that works for you.

Contact us at (518) 348-0400 and let us know how we can make your life easier!



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