State Department of Labor Revises Recently-Mandated Wage and Acknowledgment Form Requirements

The New York State Department of Labor (DOL) has released a series of model "Notice and Acknowledgment of Pay Rate and Payday" forms to help employers comply with the recently-enacted Labor Law section 195(1), which requires employers—aside from government agencies and school districts—to give employees written notice of their rate of pay and usual payday at the time of hire, and to obtain written acknowledgment of the notice. The new model forms replace the department’s previously-mandated "LS-52" form, which was intended for use by all covered employers.

To replace the LS-52, the DOL has issued a series of "model" forms modified for use in connection with types of pay agreements other than a single hourly rate, including:

  • LS 51: Notice and Acknowledgment of Wage Rate(s) for Temporary Help Firms
  • LS 54: Pay Notice for Hourly Rate Employees (a basic wage-rate, payday, and acknowledgment form mirroring the Department’s former "LS 52")
  • LS 55: Pay Notice for Multiple Hourly Rates
  • LS 56: Pay Notice for Employees Paid a Weekly Rate or a Salary for a Fixed Number of Hours (40 or Fewer in a Week)
  • LS 57: Pay Notice for Employees Paid a Salary for Varying Hours, Day Rate, Piece Rate, Flat Rate or Other Non-Hourly Pay
  • LS 58: Pay Notice for Prevailing Rate and Other Jobs
  • LS 59: Pay Notice for Exempt Employees

The department has also released "Guidelines for Written Notice of Rates of Pay and Regular Payday," an information sheet designed to aid employers in understanding and complying with their obligations under the new Labor Law section. The "Guidelines" are notable for several reasons:

  • The Guidelines confirm that school districts, like other government agencies, are exempt from the new requirements.
  • The new guidance indicates that, unlike the previous LS-52, use of the new forms is not mandatory, meaning that employers are free to design and use their own forms. The DOL does state, however, that it reserves its right to mandate the use of its own forms for non-complying employers.
  • The guidance affirms that the retention period for the employer’s notice and acknowledgment form is six years.

Perhaps most importantly, the new forms and guidance confirm that exempt employees—those not entitled to overtime pay—are still required to sign a notice and acknowledgment. Moreover, the model form offered by the department for this purpose—the LS 59—seeks to record the specific exemption relied upon by the employer, and the department’s guidelines further specify that "The notice to exempt employees must state the specific exemption that applies." Employers should accordingly review their classification determinations and the exemptions applied to each job category in light of this new requirement, and the potential impact of this information on possible department investigations into misclassification.

For more information on complying with the recently-effective requirements of Labor Law section 195(1) or incorporating the DOL’s most recent guidance into your hiring, pay, and recordkeeping practices, contact Daniel Moore at 800- 685-1429, or the Harris Beach attorney with whom you usually consult.

This Legal Alert provides a brief analysis or commentary on matters related to labor and employment, and does not purport to be a substitute for advice of counsel on specific matters.  The application of New York’s Labor Law and any implementing regulations will depend on the facts presented in each case.  As such, counsel should be sought for specific situations.

Harris Beach has offices throughout New York state, including Albany, Buffalo, Ithaca, New York City, Niagara Falls, Rochester, Saratoga Springs, Syracuse and Yonkers, as well as Newark, New Jersey.