In June, a ruling from a Federal court in New York, (Glatt v. Fox Searchlight Pictures Inc., S.D.N.Y., No. 11-06784, 6/11/13), made headlines when it determined that unpaid interns were entitled to back pay for their services in connection with the production of various films, including “Black Swan” and “500 Days of Summer.” This case ignited conversation across many industries that have come to rely on unpaid internships, but the decision did not herald a change in the law so much as reiterate the US Department of Labor’s standards for internships, which the court said were essentially identical to New York State’s.
If nothing else, the Glatt case should serve as a reminder to businesses to take care in structuring internship programs. Using the free labor of non-student adults for regular employee functions is a particularly dangerous practice, as Fox Searchlight found out. Continue reading
Last year, effective for 2012, New York State enacted the “Wage Theft Protection Act”, amending wage notice requirements and establishing penalties for failing to comply with the new rules. The Act expands on ways workers must be notified of wages through wage statements while creating additional protections for workers against retaliation for expressing concerns about working conditions.
Wage Notice Requirements
Starting with 2012, the Act requires that employees must be given a pay notice between January 1 and February 1 of each year or at any time a worker’s wages change. If an employee is hired after February 1, he or she must still be given notice upon hire as well as the annual notice with other employees.
Notices must provide the following information: An employee’s wage, including the rate of wage including the hour, shift, day, week, salary and frequency of payment. Additionally, the notice must include allowances and whether or not allowances are included in pay, for example tips, meals and other accommodations. Lastly, the employer’s name, address, telephone number and other reasonably appropriate information must be included in notices.