As of January 1, 2020, New York’s laws on minimum wage changed for many employers and employees. According to the New York Department of Labor, this is part of an annual increase that will continue, ending December 31, 2020 with the minimum wage statewide set at $15 per hour.
Though there are different hourly rates for fast food industry workers and employees receiving tips, the current minimum wage for hourly workers is $15 per hour in New York City, $13 per hour in Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester counties, and $11.80 per hour elsewhere in the state. Most people are covered by minimum wage requirements in New York, but there are some important exceptions many employers may not be aware of – and risking potential fines and penalties for improper classification.
Exemptions to New York’s Minimum Wage
New York’s labor laws do not consider independent contractors or people in business for themselves to be employees, so the minimum wage laws do not apply to these individuals.
When it comes to actual employees, minimum wage does not apply to:
- Outside salespeople
- Executives and administrators that earn more than 75 times the current minimum wage rate
- Taxi drivers
- Most government employees (some non-teaching employees are covered, however)
- Ministers and other members of religious orders
- Part-time babysitters
- Volunteers, learners, apprentices, and any students working in non-profit institutions
- Students obtaining vocational experience
If an employee doesn’t fall into one of these exempt categories, it is illegal to pay employees below the wage rate.
New York Wage Posting Requirements
All private New York employers must provide all employees with a pay notice in compliance with the Wage Theft Prevention Act. The notice must include:
- Pay rate and any applicable overtime rate
- When pay day occurs
- How the employee receives pay (hourly, daily, weekly, etc.)
- The employer’s Doing Business As name
- Contact information for the employer
- Any specific allowances applied towards minimum wage such as tips or meals
New York Employment Lawyer
New York employers are bound to a staggering number of laws, requirements, and restrictions when it comes to establishing and maintaining a relationship with their employees. All these rules can be a major source of confusion for employers to know what mandates apply to them. To ensure you stay on the right side of the law and avoid costly fines and penalties for improper payment of employees and other issues, contact the experienced employment lawyers at MOWK Law. We know how to help employers avoid costly legal pitfalls and have years of experience looking out for the best interests of people like you, so contact us today with your questions.