Palmesano Says State Government Paperwork Mandate Tying Hands of Local Business Owners

Assemblyman Palmesano supports legislation to free employers from cumbersome, business-killing mandate; supports sensible solution endorsed by state and local business leaders

In an effort to eliminate job-killing and unnecessary burdens on employers, Assemblyman Phil Palmesano (R,C,I – Corning) has signed on as a co-sponsor of legislation which would eliminate a state requirement on private sector businesses to produce an annual pay notice requirement to every employee. “This wasteful mandate – another of the many costly and burdensome requirements that state government places on businesses and localities – imposes a substantial and unnecessary cost on private sector employers,” said Palmesano. “Small businesses across the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes Region are drowning in a sea of time-consuming and costly paperwork mandates from Albany. These are the very employers that we should be supporting, helping to foster economic growth and job creation.” The proposed legislation, A.8856, targets the so-called Wage Theft Prevention Act of 2010, which was signed into law by former Governor Paterson. This law created a costly and repetitious annual written pay notice that is mandated to be provided by all private sector employers to all employees, according to the assemblyman. The great irony in all of this is that nearly all of the information required in this annual notice already can be found on employees’ paycheck stubs. “The Wage Theft Prevention Act is another example of further burdening our New York State businesses,” said Denise Ackley, president of the Corning Area Chamber of Commerce. “Mandating additional payroll requirements imposes substantial administrative and manpower costs, particularly burdensome in an economic time when our businesses already are operating with lean budgets and resources. “We should be finding ways to support our upstanding, responsible businesses in New York and reserve this type of compliance mandate for those businesses that do not play fairly. I applaud Assemblyman Palmesano’s efforts to help ‘lighten the load’ for our business community.” The legislative proposal supported by Palmesano would eliminate the annual requirement of a written pay notice by all private employers for every employee as well as the requirement that each year the employer must obtain written acknowledgements of the notice from every employee, to be retained for six years. It is estimated that these mandates can cost thousands of dollars for employers. “This law is a real killer for businesses,” Palmesano noted. “It uses precious time and valuable manpower hours by adding endless reams of paperwork requirements. It also kills jobs, because it drives up the cost of doing business in New York. The state already places far too many onerous requirements on businesses, he added. “In a time of economic stagnation, we should be working to remove burdensome costs to businesses that create barriers to private sector investment and job creation.” Corning small-business owner Barry Nicholson echoed Palmesano’s assessment of this unnecessary requirement. “The Wage Theft Prevention Act is a true example of useless government regulation and wasteful spending,” said Nicolson, who owns Connors Mercantile on Market Street. “It is simply another state-imposed barrier to the success of local small businesses by forcing us to spend precious time and money on non-revenue generating activities in difficult economic times.” “Additionally, it requires state employees to review, monitor and audit the performance of tens of thousands of small businesses to catch the handful of potential ‘bad apples’,” he continued, “thereby costing taxpayers more for minimal, if any, return. It should be eliminated immediately in my opinion.” “I appreciate the efforts of Senator DeFrancisco, Assemblyman Palmesano and Assemblyman Gabryszak, as well as many of their colleagues on both sides of the aisle to reform this onerous mandate on small businesses,” said Mike Durant, State Director of the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB). “NFIB believes that the best way to help protect workers and aid in workplace success is to strengthen the economy by passing measures that will lower New York's cost of doing business and help small businesses grow and create jobs.” The bill co-sponsored by Palmesano, which also is backed by the Business Council of New York State, the Manufacturers Association of Central New York, Unshackle Upstate, National Federation of Independent Business, Empire State Chapter Associated Builders & Contractors, New York State Association of Health Care Providers, and the New York Farm Bureau, has significant bipartisan support in the Assembly and is pending in the Assembly Labor Committee. The Senate companion bill, S.6063, sponsored by Sen. John DeFrancisco and co-sponsored by Sen. Tom O’Mara, is awaiting final passage in that chamber. **Links to memos below** Business Council of New York State Empire State Chapter Associated Builders and Contractors