Friday, November 5, 2010

New York Wage and Hour Law

Wage and hour law in New York differs from Federal labor laws in a few key ways. The state of New York has certain labor laws in place to protect the rights of employees above and beyond the general U.S. standards as outlined in the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Individuals who have not received treatment in accordance with NY state law may be entitled to back wages and should contact a New York wage and hour attorney for assistance.

Minimum Wage Law in New York

Though the minimum wage in New York is the same as the Federal minimum wage ($7.25 an hour), there are a few provisions for New Yorkers that the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) does not guarantee.

For one, New York employees that are required to wear a uniform cannot have the cost of purchasing and maintaining that uniform cancel out their minimum wage. That is, if the cost and maintenance of the uniform brings their wages below $7.25 an hour, the employer must cover the expenses. That means any employee currently making minimum wage cannot be required to purchase a uniform him or herself. This, however, generally does not include the "black pants, white shirt" dress code many restaurants use.

New York Overtime Pay

As stated in the FLSA, most employees working in excess of 40 hours in a single workweek must be paid time-and-a-half for the overtime. Yet, while that document excludes live-in (or "residential") employees, New York overtime law guarantees them overtime as well, provided they work over 44 hours in a workweek. All employers are to keep records of the hours and pay rates of their employees, including in-house workers.

Overtime pay is a legal right of employees who are considered non-exempt by Federal and New York employment law. New York employees who have been denied overtime that is owed to them may be entitled to back wages to make up for the money they have earned, but not been paid. Under the protection of law, these employees may take legal action to recover the earnings they have lost.

Meal Time, Breaks, and Labor Law

In New York, all employees meeting certain shift requirements are owed an uninterrupted meal period. If a worker's shift lasts at least six hours, begins before 11 am and ends at 2 pm or afterward, he or she is entitled to a 30-minute break. Employees employed by or in connection to a factory are entitled to a 60-minute lunch between 11 am and 2 pm.

Any breaks under 20 minutes must be compensated as work hours, including overtime, if applicable. More provisions and exceptions are outlined at the NYS Department of Labor website.

Visit IQ Overtime for more New York Wage and Hour law information, or to contact a New York labor law attorney to review your claim.


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