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Take Notice: What you Need to Know About Employee Wage Notices

With lawmakers introducing new legislation aimed at stiffening employer penalties for cases of wage theft and a growing number of states and major cities requiring employee wage notices, it’s time for HR and Payroll teams to sit up and take notice. Here’s a brief refresher on what an employee wage notification is, where it’s enacted and what employers should do to stay in compliance.

What is an Employee Wage Notice?

Employee wage notices often fall under the heading of Wage Theft. Wage notices are provided to employees to ensure their expected pay is not different from what was originally noted by employer. Some states and cities have notice templates for employers to use, while others rely on employers to create their own forms for employees. Notices provided by states/cities typically contain specified salary information for the employee at the time of hire. This can include, but is not limited to:

  • The employee’s rate or rates of pay
  • The overtime rate of pay, if the employee is subject to overtime regulations
  • The basis of wage payment (i.e. per hour, per shift, per week, commission)
  • Any allowances the employer intends to claim as part of the minimum wage including tip, meal and lodging allowances
  • The regular pay day
  • The employer’s name and any names under which the employer does business
  • The physical address of the employer’s main office, and if different, the employer’s mailing address
  • The employer’s telephone number

Each state or city that requires employees receive a wage notice has different rules regarding the language in which the notice should be provided. State and city websites should be reviewed for the individual regulations. Employers can provide the notice electronically, provided the employee can acknowledge receipt and print a copy.

States and Cities With Wage Notice Requirements

As of mid-2017, four states and two cities have posted wage notification templates, while 17 states require employers to notify new hires of their wage information:

States with wage notification templates:

California, New York, South Carolina, Washington, D.C.

Cities with wage notification templates:

Seattle, WA, St. Petersburg, FL

Other states that require pay notification for new hires but don’t offer a template:

Alaska, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Utah, West Virginia,

How to Stay Updated on Wage Notification Requirements

Staying current with ever-changing wage notification requirements can be tedious for employers, but you should monitor the Department of Labor site at a minimum. Falling out of compliance can be costly, as you run the risk of employee lawsuits and noncompliance fines. In New York, the WTPA carries a fine of $50 per employee per work day when the form is not distributed, up to a maximum of $5,000 per employee.

We recommend assigning someone from your HR team as the lead for wage notification efforts to stay current on the latest developments and manage your wage notification efforts. If that isn’t an option, consider an outside partner like CIC Plus to manage the process for you delivering the appropriate forms to the right employees.