Payment of Wages: New York
Federal law and guidance on this subject should be reviewed together with this section.
Author: Vicki M. Lambert, The Payroll Advisor
- The term wages is broadly defined in the New York wage payment law. See Definition of Wages.
- Employers in New York State may pay wages to employees in cash, by check, by direct deposit or using payroll debit cards if certain requirements are met. Penalties are imposed for noncompliance. See Wage Payment Methods.
- In New York State, the required frequency of wage payments and the amount of lag time allowed before payment after the end of a pay period varies by industry. Penalties are imposed for noncompliance. See Pay Frequency.
- New York employers are permitted to make specific types of wage deductions. The law lists the conditions under which they may be made. Fines are imposed for violations. See Permitted and Prohibited Wage Deductions.
- Employers must provide each employee with a pay statement with every payment of wages. Each pay statement must include certain information. Electronic pay statements are permitted subject to certain conditions. Penalties are imposed for noncompliance. See Pay Statement Requirements.
- Employers must provide written notice of certain pay related information to all employees when they are hired, and when the information changes, under the New York Wage Theft Protection Act. See Employee Notification Requirements.
- Employers must pay terminated employees their final wage payment within a certain time period. Whether an employer must pay for unused vacation time depends on the terms of the employer's vacation and/or resignation policy. Civil and criminal penalties may be imposed for noncompliance. See Termination Pay.
- After the death of an employee, employers must follow a specific set of rules in order to properly turn over any compensation owed to the deceased employee's estate or survivors. See Deceased Employee Wages.
- Unclaimed wages are considered abandoned property after three years. Organizations must review their records annually and transfer accounts that have reached specified dormancy thresholds to the Comptroller, who serves as custodian of the funds until the rightful owners claim them. Employers must file an annual report of unclaimed wages and provide notification to affected employees that wages will be reported to the state. Penalties are imposed for noncompliance. See Unclaimed Wages.
- New York City and Westchester County have requirements pertaining to the payment of wages. See Local Requirements.