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Capital Region Employees’ Wages and Benefits Entitled to Greater Protections Under the Wage Theft Prevention Act of 2011

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On April 9, 2011, Governor Patterson signed a new law that will, for the first time, require employers to clearly and unambiguously disclose pay rates, commissions, and bonus structures and in written disclosures provided to employees on a routine basis. 

Frequently, employees, who provide valuable services to employers throughout New York State, are the victims of a “bait and switch” where employers renege on promises to pay agreed pay rates, bonuses, commissions and benefits. Without written documentation as to what were the terms of employment, an employee was frequently left at a great disadvantage when a dispute arose. With the new law in place, the playing field is leveled and employers will be required to honor their promises.

Additionally, new reporting and enhanced record keeping requirements will allow for greater enforcement of overtime and minimum wage violations by employers exploiting lower paid employees. This is coupled with dramatically increased penalties for violations of New York State Labor Law, and in certain circumstances, result in treble damages being imposed for unpaid wages and benefits. Taken together, these sweeping changes will offer protections for New York State employees in excess of what has previously been available under prior New York State Law or under a comparable federal statute, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

If you believe that your employer has not paid you what you are entitled to receive and has changed the terms of your employment without your knowledge or approval, we are ready to provide you with assistance in remedying any violations of the law. Employees who prevail in claims against their employers are entitled to attorneys’ fees and protected under the law from retaliation. If you need additional information, do not hesitate to contact John Hoke at 518-489-5600 or jhoke@smithhoke.com.

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