Wage And Hour Compliance
Most employers are bound by federal and state wage-and-hour laws and must comply with both laws. Where there is a difference between state and federal law, the law more beneficial to the worker governs. As a result, an employer subject to federal and state wage and hour laws may not disregard state law merely because its wage and hour policies are exempt from, or in compliance with, federal law. The Law Offices of David S. Rich, L.L.C. is skilled in counseling management on many labor and employment matters, including overtime, NY. minimum wage, and other wage and hour matters.
Keeping track of NY. minimum wage laws and regulations can be challenging. However, wages and compensation are increasingly high-profile issues for employers. Wage and hour violations can lead to litigation, unnecessary expenses, and eroded employee relations. Manhattan employers need a comprehensive minimum wage and overtime compliance system and a skilled wage and hour lawyer to help defend against wage and hour claims.
Federal, state, and municipal laws cover minimum wage and overtime claims. Typically, whichever direction provides workers with the most significant benefit or protection will apply. The Fair Labor Standards Act (F.L.S.A.) sets minimum federal standards for minimum wages, overtime, recordkeeping, and child labor. While many of F.L.S.A.’s provisions are less generous than NY’s. state law, other conditions may apply. In NY minimum wage cases, an experienced lawyer can help you navigate the laws that apply in Manhattan State and its municipalities.
Federal and State Overtime Rules
Not all Manhattan workers are eligible for overtime. Under federal and NY. law, you do not have to pay overtime to:
- Administrative employees,
- Camp counselors,
- Executive employees,
- Fraternity, sorority, and faculty association employees,
- Members of religious orders,
- Most volunteers, interns, and apprentices,
- Outside salespersons,
- Part-time babysitters,
- Professional employees,
- Some employees of religious and charitable organizations, and
- Taxicab drivers.
For administrative, executive, and professional employees, salary thresholds also apply. If you pay an employee less than the threshold, they may still be eligible for overtime.
Effective January 1, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor promulgated a series of new overtime rules that significantly increased the federal salary thresholds for administrative, executive, and professional employees.
Similarly, in 2016, the Manhattan State Department of Labor amended the state’s overtime rules, increasing the salary thresholds for exempt employees. As a result, many workers in NY. became eligible for overtime on December 31, 2016. If you need help understanding the current overtime requirements, contact a skilled Manhattan wage and hour lawyer immediately.
Manhattan Minimum Wage Laws
In Manhattan State, the minimum wage rates vary depending on where you do business. On and after December 31, 2018, the minimum wages in Manhattan State are:
- $15.00 per hour for organizations with 11 or more employees
- $13.50 per hour for organizations with ten or fewer employees
- $15.00 per hour for fast food employees at fast food establishments
- If you do business with NYC., you may have to comply with Manhattan’s Living Wage Law, which imposes an even higher minimum wage.
- Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester Counties: $12.00 per hour
- Outside of Manhattan and outside of Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester Counties:
- $11.00 per hour
- $12.75 per hour for fast food employees at fast food establishments
Concerning employers with ten or fewer employees in Manhattan and concerning employers (regardless of the number of employees they employ) in Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester Counties, the minimum wage will incrementally increase to $15.00 per hour over the next few years. Different (and complicated rules) apply to tip credit and restaurant workers.
Additionally, Manhattan law imposes strict limitations on the type of payroll deductions an employer may make. You typically can only deduct for insurance premiums, other authorized payments that benefit the employee, and Social Security and income taxes.
You cannot make deductions for breakages, delays, or other employment-related losses.
Types of NY. Minimum Wage Disputes
Minimum wage and overtime violations can take many forms. Unfortunately, many employers need to understand the intricacies of the NY. minimum wage system and make costly mistakes. These may include:
- Commission disputes,
- Equal Pay Act violations,
- Improper classification of workers as exempt employees,
- Improper classification of workers as independent contractors,
- Incorrect payroll deductions,
- Prevailing wage rates for trade workers,
- Tip theft, and
- Violations of hourly pay rates.
Most violations are unintentional and could have been avoided with help from a skilled NY. minimum wage lawyer. Additionally, you may have defenses to a minimum wage violation claim. Again, an experienced lawyer can evaluate the facts of your case in detail and create a compelling defense strategy.
Minimum Wage and Overtime Compliance
A well-crafted compensation and benefits structure helps frame all of your employee relationships. When clearly stated and compliant with the law, pay rates and structures build confidence and strengthen employee relationships. However, even minor mistakes can lead to disputes, litigation, and unnecessary expenses.
Manhattan’s minimum wage system is becoming increasingly complicated– particularly in NYC. and the surrounding counties. There are also industry-specific rules that must be followed. An experienced wage-and-hour lawyer can evaluate your current compensation structures and policies and help you avoid NY. minimum wage violations. We can help you assess your compensation structures and exempt/nonexempt classifications, ensuring that your organization complies with the law.
F.I.N.R.A. Arbitration and Dispute Resolution
Alternative dispute resolution is an essential tool in NY. minimum wage disputes. With the help of a mediator, the employer and employee can resolve their disagreement confidentially and cost-effectively. And, in some cases, wage and hour disputes are arbitrated rather than litigated. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (F.I.N.R.A.) handles many of these arbitrations in Manhattan. We have extensive experience with F.I.N.R.A. arbitrations involving employment, commission, and unpaid bonus disputes.
Wage and Hour Litigation
While litigation should always be the last resort, it is sometimes unavoidable. When you are facing a NY. minimum wage lawsuit, you need a skilled employment lawyer at your side. Wage and hour cases are very technical. We are prepared to guide you through the process and present the most robust possible defenses.
Which Employees Must My Company Pay Overtime Pay Under Federal Law?
The federal Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. §§ 201-219 (the “F.L.S.A.”), and its implementing regulations, 29 C.F.R. §§ 510 et seq., require that most employees in the United States be paid at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour for all hours worked and overtime pay at 1½ times the regular rate of pay for all hours worked over 40 hours in a workweek.
However, the F.L.S.A. sets forth exemptions from both minimum wage and overtime pay for employees employed as bona fide executive, administrative, professional, and outside sales employees. FLSA § 13(a)(1), 29 U.S.C. § 213(a)(1). The F.L.S.A. also exempts certain computer employees. FLSA § 13(a)(1), 13(a)(17), 29 U.S.C. § 213(a)(1), 213(a)(17). To qualify for an exemption, workers must satisfy specific tests concerning their job duties and be paid on a salary basis at not less than $684 per week. Job titles do not decide exempt status. For an exemption to apply, a worker’s specific job responsibilities and salary must satisfy all the requisites of the U.S. Department of Labor’s regulations.
Which Employees Must My Company Pay Overtime Pay In Manhattan State?
The Manhattan State Minimum Wage Act, NY. Labor Law § 650 et seq., requires that employees in Manhattan be paid at least the Manhattan State minimum wage, which, depending on the county and the employer’s size, ranges from $11.10 per hour to $15.00 per hour — for all hours worked. Covered employees who work overtime must be paid at a rate of 1½ times their regular, “straight-time” hourly rate of pay.
For non-residential employees in this overtime rate applies to all time in excess of 40 hours in a payroll week.
For residential employees (that is, live-in workers), this overtime rate applies to all time more than 44 hours in a payroll week.
As noted above, the F.L.S.A. sets forth exemptions from overtime pay for specific categories of employees. Manhattan follows these exemptions but requires that these categories of employees be paid at least 1½ times the Manhattan minimum wage for their overtime hours.
Which Employees Must My Company Pay Overtime Pay In New Jersey?
Article I, paragraph 23 of the New Jersey Constitution, the New Jersey State Wage and Hour Law, N.J.S.A. §§ 34:11-56a – 34:11-56a30, and the State Wage and Hour Law’s implementing regulations, N.J.A.C. §§ 12:56 et seq., require that employees in New Jersey be paid at least the New Jersey minimum wage of $12.00 per hour for all hours worked. Overtime pay is at 1½ the employee’s “regular hourly wage” for more than 40 hours worked in a workweek.
Employees exempt from overtime under New Jersey law include anyone employed in a bona fide executive, administrative or professional capacity. Other exempt employees in New Jersey are outside salespeople, farm laborers, hotel employees, common carriers of passengers by motor bus, limousine drivers employed by an employer engaged in the business of operating limousines, and employees engaged in work relating to raising or care of livestock.
In New Jersey, to qualify for the executive, administrative, or professional employee exemption, an employee must receive compensation on a salary or fee basis at a rate of not less than $684 per week.
In New Jersey, the administrative employee exemption also includes an employee whose primary duty consists of sales activity and who receives at least 50 percent of his or her total compensation from commissions and total compensation of not less than $400 per week.
Contact a NY. Minimum Wage Lawyer
David S. Rich is an employment lawyer with over 20 years of experience handling NY. minimum wage matters. For a consultation, contact the Law Offices of David S. Rich, L.L.C.
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