Wage and Hour Laws
If you experience a wage and hour issue in New York, you will need to work with a seasoned, experienced New York Wage & Hour attorney to resolve it. New York’s wage and hour laws are rather complicated compared to other states and are often unique to the Empire State. If you need assistance, call A.Y.G, PLLC today to schedule a free case evaluation.
New York Wage and Hour Laws
The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and state law govern what employers are required to pay their employees and under what conditions. The most well-known are the minimum wage and overtime laws. But this area also covers requirements relating to the child labor laws and rules regarding meals and breaks.
Federal Minimum Wage and Overtime
For example, federal law says employers must pay most hourly (non-exempt) employees at least $7.25 an hour. In addition, if you work more than 40 hours in a given workweek, your employer must pay you one and half times your regular hourly rate. Your employer is required to post an official poster outlining these rights. However, you should be aware that a state minimum wage can override the federal minimum wage, as it does in New York State.
New York Minimum Wage and Overtime
New York’s minimum wage law is a bit more complicated than the federal law. First, the overtime rate ranges from $15.00 per hour to $12.50, depending on where you work and how many other employees work for your company. Those rates lower than $15.00 per hour are scheduled to rise until all New York employees make a minimum of $15.00 per hour, except for tipped employees who will make a minimum of $10.00. Second, New York requires most employers to pay time and a half for any hours over 40 worked in a work week as with the federal government. However, unlike some states, New York does not require overtime pay for hours in excess of 8 in one day. Further, New York also requires that employers provide meal breaks to their employees. Finally, New York, like the federal government, requires the prominent posting of your rights.
Common Wage and Hour Violations
Most employees experience and employers commit the same common types of wage and hour violations. Among these common violations are:
- Misclassifying employees
- Not paying the required minimum wage
- Not paying required overtime
- Not providing required breaks
- Requiring unpaid, off-the-clock work
If you think one or more of these has happened or is happening to you, there are steps you can take. One of the most important is to consult an employment law attorney early in the process.
What You Should Do if You Suspect a Wage and Hour Violation
If you think you have been the victim of a wage and hour violation, the first – and possibly most difficult – thing you need to do is speak to your employer about it. It is always challenging to have what feels like a confrontation with your employer, but you have rights under state and federal law. You are entitled to the benefit of those laws. Even though you may feel like you’re putting your job at risk, you should work with your employer to attempt to resolve these issues. The federal government protects you from retaliation by your employer for making a wage and hour claim, so long as you have a good faith belief that it is correct.
Document Your Hours and Pay
Make sure to keep records of the hours you have worked and the pay you have received. Your records should be detailed and should keep track of your breaks as well. If it comes to a more formal dispute beyond a conversation with your boss or Human Resources, you will need to be able to prove your claims. This documentation, which can be as simple as notes on a calendar, will go a long way toward doing that.
Keep Communicating with Your Supervisors
It is important to keep talking with your supervisors and to try to keep things friendly or at the very least professional. Your supervisors may not be the ones making the decisions that you are challenging. If they aren’t, they may be helpful, or at the least not harmful. Even if they are the ones causing the alleged violations, you need to keep lines of communication open if you’re still working with them. If you have already contacted a wage and hour law firm, that firm can advise you on keeping communication open.
Talk to HR
Do talk to your Human Resources Department. The people in HR know the wage and hour rules. Therefore, they should at least listen to your claims with some sympathy and may be able to explain to you why the company handles wages and hours the way it does. However, even if HR offers neither compassion nor wisdom, as your wage and hour attorney will warn you, it’s important when and if you do make a formal claim to demonstrate that you exhausted your in-house remedies. So, you should be sure to take any steps that your company’s employee manual says you need to before making a formal claim.
Retain an Attorney as Soon as You Can
If you believe that you have a wage and hour claim, it is vital to consult an experienced wage and law attorney as soon as possible. A knowledgeable attorney can help you understand whether you have a claim. He or she can also help you continue working with your employer and preparing and maintaining needed records, file your claim on your behalf, and represent you in negotiations or in court.
Call a New York Wage & Hour Lawyer Today for a Free Consultation
If you believe your wage and hour rights have been violated, call A.Y.G., PLLC today. We have the experience and skill to get you the compensation you deserve under state and federal law. To schedule a free case evaluation with a member of our team, call our office today at 646-201-8625 or contact us online.