As of September 30, 2020, the recordkeeping requirements of New York’s Wage Theft Prevention Act (WTPA) will expand to include data related to the state’s new paid sick leave law, which takes effect on the same day.

On April 3, 2020, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the FY 2021 state budget, which provides for statewide paid sick leave benefits to the majority of employees within New York State effective January 1, 2021. (Read our previous blog on that topic here.) Relatedly, the budget also includes a corresponding amendment to the WTPA.

The WTPA currently requires New York State employers to retain the following records for no less than six years: 

  • Payroll records showing for each week worked the hours worked;
  • The rate or rates of pay and basis thereof, whether paid by the hour, shift, day, week, salary piece, commission, or other;
  • Gross wages;
  • Deductions;
  • Allowances, if any, claimed as part of the minimum wage; and
  • Net wages for each employee. 

Effective September 30, 2020, the WTPA will be amended to require all New York State employers to maintain records – for no less than six years – of the "amount of sick leave provided to each employee." Although employees will not be entitled to use paid sick leave until January 1, 2021, they may begin accruing leave as of September 30, 2020.

Employers should review their existing sick and safe time policies and general PTO polices to ensure compliance with upcoming legal obligations in advance of September 30, 2020. Further, employers will need to train their managers to ensure that they are aware of the new legal obligations and the need to work with human resources to handle requests, track usage, and maintain records of sick leave provided to each employee.