New York Wage Deduction Law Amendments Extended for Three More Years

Section 193 of the New York Labor Law (NYLL) prohibits an employer from deducting amounts from an employee’s wages, except for amounts that are both for the benefit of the employee and are approved by the employee in writing.  In July 2012, we wrote about the narrow scope of permissible deductions under Section 193.  Such charges were generally limited to insurance premiums, pension contributions, union dues and similar payments.  As we wrote in our September 14, 2012 blog, New York Governor Signs Legislation Broadening Scope of Permissible Wage Deductions under New York Labor Law,  section 193 of the NYLL was amended to permit additional types of deductions to which an employee could consent.

Permissible charges under the 2012 amendments included (i) purchases at charitable events; (ii) discounted parking and mass transit charges; (iii) gym dues; (iv) employer-provided vending machine, cafeteria and pharmacy purchases; (v) tuition and boarding fees for educational institutions; (vi) some child-care expenses; and (vii) payments for certain types of housing provided by non-profit hospitals.

In addition, the 2012 amendments provided a mechanism through which employers could recover overpayments and loans to employees through wage deductions.  Prior to the 2012 amendments, employers were barred from recovering overpayments and loans through wage deductions completely, even if the employee consented to them.  The 2012 amendments still require employers to implement a policy and procedural mechanism to recover overpayments and loan payments, which comport with Section 193’s requirements.

The 2012 amendments were set to expire on November 6, 2015, at which time the law would have reverted to its pre-2012 state,  However on October 26, 2015, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill (A07594) extending the expiration period of the amendments to November 6, 2018, thereby continuing to permit the broader types of deductions from wages under section 193 of the NYLL.