On September 7, New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed a bill amending New York's Wage Deduction Law (Section 193 of the New York Labor Law) to permit employers to deduct certain amounts from employee paychecks. This legislation effectively overrules the restrictive interpretation of permissible wage deductions previously taken by the New York State Department of Labor in a series of Opinion Letters. The revised law will take effect in November 2012.
Prior to these amendments, Section 193 provided a narrow list of permissible wage deductions that could be taken with express written authorization from an employee. These permissible deductions included payments for insurance premiums, pension or health and welfare benefits, charitable contributions, U.S. bonds, union dues or assessments, and similar payments for the benefit of the employee. The new legislation expands the list of permissible deductions to include purchases at events sponsored by a bona fide charitable organization affiliated with the employer, discounted parking and mass transit costs, gym memberships, business cafeteria and vending machine purchases, pharmacy purchases at the employer's place of business, and certain tuition and related expenses for educational institutions and day care.
The amendments also explain that employees must authorize the aforementioned deductions in writing after receiving written notice regarding the terms and conditions of payment and details of the manner in which deductions will be made. Employees may revoke their authorizations at any time, and employers must retain written authorizations during employees' employment and for six years thereafter. Employers also must notify employees of any substantial change to the terms of payment.
Of even more significance for employers, however, is the expanded ability, under the amendments, to use wage deductions to recoup wage overpayments due to mathematical or other clerical errors and to ensure repayment of advances of salary or wages. Deductions for overpayments and advances will be subject to regulations promulgated by the Commissioner of Labor that will address the timing, frequency, duration and method of repayment; notice requirements; the procedure to dispute amounts or delay deductions; and other requirements.
This legislation is good news for employers and employees because prior to the amendments many of these wage deductions were prohibited even if both parties desired them. Employers should ensure they understand all of the requirements set forth under the revised statute and remain apprised of new developments such as the forthcoming procedural guidance expected from the Commissioner of Labor.
Day Pitney partner Francine Esposito will speak at the upcoming webinar "Workplace Leave Laws: Strategies to Navigate the Changing Landscape in the U.S." Taking place on Sept. 14 at 2 p.m., the webinar is the first in a series of webinars hosted by the Employment Law Alliance (ELA) on workplace leave laws around the globe.
Day Pitney partner Francine Esposito will present a "2017 FMLA Master Class: New Jersey" seminar on September 13.
Day Pitney Alert
Eric Sussman authored an article, "Conn. High Court Sheds Light on 'ABC' Test Application," which was published by Law360.
Patrick McCarthy and Christopher Stracco spoke about Project Labor Agreements on Friday, February 10, at the New Jersey Institute of Continuing Legal Education's Annual 2017 Redevelopment Law Institute at the Renaissance Woodbridge Hotel in Iselin, New Jersey.
Michael Furey was quoted in an article, "The Biggest New Jersey Cases of 2016," which was published in Law360.
Michael Furey was quoted in an article, "NJ Panel Grills Hospitals Over Discovery In Horizon Row," in Law360. Day Pitney is representing five New Jersey hospitals in a lawsuit against Horizon Healthcare, relating to its new, multi-tiered health plan called OMNIA. Furey advocated on behalf of the five hospitals on Wednesday before a New Jersey appeals court that Horizon should turn over a consultant's report and certain agreements relating to how Horizon categorized hospitals under its controversial OMNIA Alliance program and the impact of OMNIA on the hospitals. These Tier 2 hospitals are alleging various claims, including breach of contract and citing concerns that being ranked in the lower tier of the program will cost them business. Horizon contends the sought-after materials, including a financial analysis, strategic alliance agreements and rate agreements between the insurer and OMNIA network hospitals, contain trade secret and confidential information. "If we're going to prove our hospitals should be Tier 1 alliance members, we need the documents and the information," Furey said.
Hartford, Conn., May 26, 2016 - Day Pitney LLP is pleased to announce that Employment and Labor attorney Albert Zakarian has been chosen as a Lifetime Achievement winner of The Connecticut Law Tribune’s second annual Professional Excellence Awards 2016. The Professional Excellence Awards 2016 recognize 28 lawyers, who were chosen from over 60 nominees, as either Lawyer of the Year or Lifetime Achievement recipients, according to The Connecticut Law Tribune. The Lifetime Achievement Awards honor "attorneys who have excelled over a career."
John McLafferty was quoted in an article, "Final overtime regulations less drastic than feared," in Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly. In the article, McLafferty discusses how the Department of Labor’s final revised federal overtime regulation will impact businesses. "The reality is that the rule made more people eligible for overtime; it didn’t create any obligation for employers to pay more overtime," he said. McLafferty added that the regulation’s impact on employees could have a wider effect on office culture and policies, which may affect a company’s ability to attract and retain workers. In addition, he noted that employers should take this opportunity to ensure that all of their employees are properly classified for overtime purposes.
Albert Zakarian has been chosen as a winner of The Connecticut Law Tribune's second annual Professional Excellence Awards. The awards recognize two dozen lawyers for outstanding service to the profession during their long careers. The publication received more than 70 nominations. Profiles of awardees will appear in the Law Tribune in May. An event will also be held in May to recognize the winners. More about the awards can be found here.