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KMS Software, a Century City, Calif.-based provider of human resources solutions, has developed a new software tool to help employers accommodate the New York Wage Theft Prevention Act (WTPA), which was signed into law December 10, 2010, by Governor David Paterson, and becomes effective on Saturday, April 9, 2011.
The law broadens protections to employees and misclassified workers from minimum wage, off-the-clock and overtime violations, and equires more stringent pay notice requirements and increasing penalties for wage payment, notice and recordkeeping violations by employers.
The KMS tool is a new module added to its XpressHR OnBoarding technology to help New York employers stay compliant with the New York WTPA law. “The penalties for noncompliance are severe,” said KMS general counsel Launice Sills. “The state is serious about policing and verifying that its employers are not engaged in wage theft among the most vulnerable workers.”
According to KMS, the WTPA requirements include:
Informing new hires, in writing, of their designated pay date, rate of pay, and overtime rate, if applicable, at the time of hire and again by February 1 of every subsequent year.
Providing information both in English and the primary language of the employee.
The basis of the wage payment (e.g., whether paid by the hour, shift, day, week, salary, piece, or commission, or on another basis).
The employer's intent to claim allowances (e.g., tip, meal and/or lodging allowances) as part of the minimum wage.
Notice of the employer’s intent to change an employee’s wages a minimum of seven days prior to the change.
The employer’s name and any “doing business as” names.
The address of the employer’s main office or principal place of business and mailing address if different.
The employer’s telephone number.
Any other information the Commissioner of Labor deems “material and necessary.”
The consequences for failing to follow these procedures – and maintain the records to prove it for up to six years – could mean penalties of up to $5,000 per infraction for employers (not including attorneys’ fees and court costs), according to KMS. The penalties for violating wage payment provisions and for retaliating against employees who report employer violations are even higher.
The Department of Labor (DOL) has prepared templates for several common types of pay agreements, including dual language versions in Chinese, Haitian-Creole, Korean, Polish, Russian and Spanish. If the DOL does not make a template in a particular language available, employers may provide notice to that employee in English only.
The new KMS’ XpressHR New York Wage Theft Prevention Act module includes all the languages supported by the Department of Labor.
“The New York Wage Theft Prevention Act module is in line with our other XpressHR products,” says KMS founder, Yolanda Parker. “Our goal was to streamline what could have been an onerous process for employers. Our module is a multi-lingual, easy-to-use compliant process for new and current employees. This is a win-win for New York employers and employees.”
For more information regarding the New York Wage Theft Prevention Act module and any other KMS XpressHR product, visit www.kmssoftware.com