Wage and Hour Lawyer New York City

  • Do you know your rights to minimum wage as a New York employee?
  • Does your New York employer owe you unpaid wages?
  • Does your New York superior claim you are “exempt” from overtime pay and benefits?
  • Does your New York supervisor treat you like an employee but claim on official documents that you are working as a consultant or independent contractor?

All too often, New York employers abuse wage and hour regulations to save money and cut corners. Wage and hour violations occur across industries throughout New York City and the state of New York. It does not necessarily only affect the city, or service industries like employees working in nail salons, restaurants, and construction sites, it affects all industries! For instance, even hard-working individuals working in banking, IT, healthcare, and others. Minimum wage is the lowest hourly pay that employers cannot fall below. You have the right to a minimum wage rate!

Like federal wage and hour laws, the State of New York’s overtime provisions effectively tracks the federal provisions. For instance, employers—like yours—must pay employees one-and-one-half times the employee’s regular rate of pay overtime.

New York went above and beyond federal wage and hour laws, as a matter of public policy. For instance minimum wage standards the New York legislator created based on the finding that “persons employed in some occupations in the State of New York at wages insufficient to provide adequate maintenance for themselves and their families” and that “ the employment of persons at these insufficient rates of pay threatens the health and well-being of the people and injuries the overall economy” of the state.


What is New York’s current minimum wage?

Throughout the state of New York, there are planned minimum wage increases from 2017 until 2021. These changes are a part of an incremental wage hike approved by New York Governor Cuomo and lawmakers back in 2016. These minimum wage rates are scheduled to increase each year on December 31st until they reach $15.00 per hour  (and $10.00 per hour for the tipped wage).


General Minimum Wage Rate Schedule

NYC – Large Employers (of 11 or more)$11.00$13.00$15.00
NYC – Small Employers (10 or less)$10.50$12.00$13.50$15.00
Long Island & Westchester$10.00$11.00$12.50$13.00$14.00$15.00
Remainder of New York State$9.70$10.40$11.10$11.80$12.50*


Who is not covered under New York State wage and hour law?

Unfortunately, the law does not cover employees working in all fields of work. For instance, minimum wage and overtime law does not apply to the following workers:

  • Babysitters
  • Persons working as companions for sick or elderly individuals
  • Workers in a bona fide executive, administrative, or professional capacity
  • Outside salespersons
  • Taxi drivers
  • Volunteers or apprentices for charitable, religious, or educational organizations
  • Members of religious orders (such as priests, monks, or rabbis)
  • Students and handicapped individuals working for religious or charitable organizations
  • Employees of a summer camp operated by a religious or charitable organization operating less than three months each year
  • Staff counselors in children’s camps
  • Employees of student or faculty associations or fraternities
  • Employees of federal, state, or municipal governments or their subdivisions
  • Volunteers at recreational or amusement events that run 8 days or less


What is overtime pay under New York State law?

Like federal law, in New York, employers that are covered under such laws must pay one and a half times the employee’s regular rate of pay for overtime hours. In New York, overtime is time over 40 hours in one week for nonresidential employees and 44 hours per week for residential employees.

Moreover, it is important to note that over time provisions apply regardless of the frequency of payment, whether the wage is on a commission, bonus, or any other basis. As such, if a bi-weekly paid employee works l less than 40 hours one week and makes up those hours by working more than 40 hours the following week, said an employee is entitled to overtime pay for the additional hours past 40 hours in the second week. Employers are not allowed to carry hours over, if they do, it is unlawful!

Also, there are also many nuances in the law. For instance, New York employees of resort hotels, if the employee works seven consecutive days, the hours worked on the seventh day are overtime. There are also specific provisions for “call-in” pay, “split shift” hours, and allowances for meals, lodging, tips, and uniforms.


What can I do today if I think my employer is violating my wage & hour rights?

First of all, get together all of your past pay stubs and documents showing the hours you have worked each week for your New York employer. The more records the better!  If your employer did not keep such official records, you can also, start keeping track of the wage you have worked and are working now. You work too hard to not be paid every cent you earned. Keeping track of every minute you worked helps your wage and hour attorney analyze the facts of your particular case. You can use these helpful governmental links to guide you about keeping track of such records: https://www.dol.gov/whd/FLSAEmployeeCard/WrkHrsRecordkeeper.pdf and https://www.dol.gov/whd/FLSAEmployeeCard/calendarR5Web.pdf.

Second, if you feel your employer is not paying you fairly under either federal law or New York law, or you have been subject to unlawful discrimination on the job contact one of our New York City attorneys at the Derek Smith Law Group, PLLC today for a free consultation!


Contact our wage and hour lawyers in New York

Wage and hour claims are very complex due to the many exceptions and calculations under the law. Our attorneys have years of experience litigating claims of employment issues, discriminatory conduct, and wage and hour claims. Our attorneys work together as a team and we have recovered millions on behalf of our clients who were cheated out of the money they earned and for individuals discriminated against at the workplace. If you feel like your employer is not following the law or that you have been discriminated against, please call us today at (877) 469-5297 or contact our employment attorneys online by filling out the contact form at the top right of this page. We offer free consultations and would love to see how we can help you.