The Basics Of Minimum Wage Laws And Overtime In New York

If you put in time at work, your employer should pay you for that time ― it is as simple as that. Unfortunately, however, despite laws that require employers to pay a minimum wage and applicable overtime, many New York employers continue to underpay employees for their work.

What Should I Be Earning?

While the rules may be different for salaried employees and certain types of unpaid interns, New York employees are currently entitled to receive a minimum wage of $9 per hour. In addition, if you work more than 40 hours a week, you are eligible for overtime pay under both state and federal law. In most cases, your 40-hour workweek includes only the time you are at your actual workplace, although if you are required to travel as part of your job, this travel time may count toward your 40 hours, depending on the circumstances.

You are also entitled to an unpaid lunch break, although the rules differ depending on your job and the type of work you do. For instance, factory workers typically get a 60-minute meal break, while commercial and retail employees only get 30 minutes.

What About Tipped Employees?

One significant exception to the minimum wage rule is employees who receive tips. Essentially, federal law allows employers to pay tipped employees a wage rate lower than the minimum wage, but only if that wage rate plus the employee's tips add up to at least the minimum wage for each hour worked, which is $9 in New York. If the tipped employee's combined pay ― including wages and tips ― does not average out to be at least the minimum wage, his or her employer must pay the difference.

For example, in the case of food service workers such as waiters, employers may pay them at least $7.50 an hour, assuming they make at least $1.50 an hour in tips. If a waiter's tips are less than $1.50 an hour, the employer will have to make up the difference. However, it is important to note that the amount an employer needs to pay a tipped employee may vary depending on the job. Therefore, if you feel you employer may owe you unpaid wages, it is important to contact a lawyer right away.

We Can Help ― Call Us Today For A Free Consultation

Is your employer failing to pay you the minimum wage? Does your employer owe you unpaid overtime? In either case, you need an experienced employment law attorney by your side defending your rights.

Contact The Rose Law Group PLLC today and schedule a FREE initial legal consultation. We can explain your rights and help you obtain the compensation you deserve. You can call us toll free at 718-989-1864 or email us online. We serve clients throughout Queens and the surrounding areas, including Long Island City and Astoria.