Wages, Hours, and Payment

Minimum wage in New York State is set to increase every year on December 31 until it reaches $15.00 per hour. The rate of increase depends on the size, location, and, in some cases, industry of the employer. General information about minimum wage is:

Location

12/31/17

12/31/18

12/31/19

12/31/20

12/31/21

NYC - Employers of 11 or more

$13.00

$15.00

 

 

 

NYC - Employers of 10 or fewer

$12.00

$13.50

$15.00

 

 

Long Island & Westchester

$11.00

$12.00

$13.00

$14.00

$15.00

Remainder of New York State

$10.40

$11.10

$11.80

$12.50

TBA

Fast Food Workers – NYC

$13.50

$15.00

 

 

 

Fast Food Workers – Outside NYC

$11.75

$12.75

$13.75

$14.50

$15.00

For more information about minimum wage, visit https://labor.ny.gov/workerprotection/laborstandards/workprot/minwage.shtm.

Overtime pay is a higher pay rate for hours worked after 40 in a work week. New York Labor Law requires employers to pay 1 ½ times your regular rate of pay (instead of your regular rate) for hours worked after 40 in a work week. Almost all workers are entitled to overtime pay, but there are some exceptions.

Example: A worker who receives $15.00 per hour is entitled to overtime pay of $22.50 per hour (1 ½ times the regular rate) for any hour he or she works after 40 hours in a work week.

There is no general legal limit on how long the employer can require adults to work, but you are entitled to overtime pay for all hours worked after 40 in a work week. Factories, stores, hotels, restaurants and some other employers are required to give all employees at least one full day of rest (24 consecutive hours) each calendar week. There are limits on how long people under age 18 can work, and for some workers, such as drivers, there are safety laws that limit how many hours of work is permissible. For more information, contact the New York State Department of Labor at (800) 662-1220 or visit https://www.labor.ny.gov, or contact the U.S. Department of Labor at 1-866-4-USWAGE or visit http://www.dol.gov.

Your employer may be able to pay you less than the normal minimum wage if:

  • You regularly receive tips as part of your job;
  • Your hourly tips and wage add up to at least the normal minimum wage;
  • Your employer informed you that it is paying you less than the minimum wage because you regularly receive tips; and
  • The employer keeps a weekly record of the amount of tips you earned each week.

Tipped minimum wage per hour for food service workers is set to increase every year on December 31 until it reaches $10/hour. In addition, if workers do not receive a certain amount per hour in tips, called “credit for tips received,” the employer must make up the difference in the hourly wage. Minimum wage and credit for tips received for food service workers are as follows:

Location

12/31/17

12/31/18

12/31/19

12/31/20

12/31/21

Minimum Wage

NYC - Employers of 11 or more

$8.65

$10.00

 

 

 

NYC - Employers of 10 or fewer

$8.00

$9.00

$10.00

 

 

Long Island & Westchester

$7.50

$8.00

$8.65

$9.35

$10.00

Remainder of New York State

$7.50

$7.50

$7.85

$8.35

TBA

Credit For Tips Received

NYC - Employers of 11 or more

$4.35

$5.00

 

 

 

NYC - Employers of 10 or fewer

$4.00

$4.50

$5.00

 

 

Long Island & Westchester

$3.50

$4.00

$4.35

$4.65

$5.00

Remainder of New York State

$2.90

$3.60

$3.95

$4.15

TBA

For more information about minimum wage, visit https://labor.ny.gov/workerprotection/laborstandards/workprot/minwage.shtm.

At the time of hiring, an employer must notify the new employee of his rate of pay and of the regular pay day designated by the employer, among other information. In addition, an employer must either post or notify his employees in writing of the employer's policy regarding sick leave, vacation, personal leave, holidays and hours of work. In addition, employers are required to furnish to employees with every payment of wages a statement showing the hours worked, gross wages, payroll deductions, and net wages for each employee, among other information.

For more information about wage notices, visit https://labor.ny.gov/workerprotection/laborstandards/employer/wage-theft-prevention-act.shtm

The law entitles most workers to 30-minute meal breaks, but does not require the employer to pay for this time.  If you are required to work during a break, you do have a right to be paid for it. The law does not require employers to grant other breaks, but if there is a break shorter than 20 minutes, it must be a paid break.  Otherwise, New York Labor Law section 162 provides:

If:

Then you are entitled to a meal break of:

your shift is more than 6 hours, starts before 11 am and lasts past 2 pm

30 minutes between 11 am and 2 pm

your shift starts before 11 am and lasts past 7 pm

30 minutes between 11 am and 2 pm, and an additional 20 minutes between 5 pm and 7 pm

your shift is more than 6 hours and starts between 1 pm and 6 am

45 minutes (60 minutes for factory workers), in the middle of the shift

You are a factory worker on a day shift

60 minutes, between 11 am and 2 pm

For more information about breaks, visit: www.labor.ny.gov/workerprotection/laborstandards/employer/meals.shtm.

An employer may only take deductions that are required by law (e.g., payroll taxes, child support orders, wage garnishments), or that are expressly authorized by the employee in writing and for the benefit of the employee, and are for items such as:

  • Payments for insurance premiums;
  • Pension or health and welfare benefits;
  • Charitable contributions;
  • Purchase of savings bonds;
  • Union dues or assessments; or
  • Similar payments for the benefit of the employee

Other deductions are not allowed. Additionally, the employer cannot require you to make a payment by separate transaction for something that would be an illegal deduction. For example, if a worker damages the employer’s property or makes a mistake that costs money, the employer is not allowed to recoup by deducting money from the worker’s pay or making the worker pay it back.

Labor Laws protect all workers, and employers must pay all workers for all hours worked, regardless of immigration status.  This applies even if an employer knew or later learned that a worker does not have legal authorization to work. The Labor Bureau does not ask about immigration status and has recovered wages for workers regardless of that status.

If your hours of work are “split” (not consecutive), or if shift lasts more than ten hours, you may be entitled to one additional hour's pay for the day, at the New York State Minimum Wage hourly wage rate.

If you are required or permitted to report to work, even if you are not assigned actual work, you may be entitled to “call-in pay.” Usually, restaurant or hotel workers are entitled to three hours’ pay at the applicable minimum rate, and employees in other private workplaces are entitled to four hours’ pay at the applicable minimum rate.

Yes. If you are not in a union and do not have an employment contract, an employer may change the conditions of employment, including salary, provided that he or she pays at least the minimum wage and any required overtime, and continues to follow any other applicable laws. An employer may not, however, change your salary after the fact for time you have already worked, or change your salary or hours in retaliation for your exercise of rights protected by labor law.

If you work under a contract – either a collective-bargaining agreement or an individual contract – then the employer has to pay you the wage the contract calls for. Even without a contract, some workers may be legally entitled to a wage higher than the minimum wage, depending on the type of work and location.

For example, employees performing work on a “public works project” – usually construction projects performed for a government or public agency – may be entitled to a “prevailing wage” determined by the New York State Department of Labor’s Bureau of Public Work or (for jobs in New York City) the New York City Comptroller’s Bureau of Labor Law. Some building service workers, such as janitors, are also entitled to the prevailing wage when working under a government’s or public agency’s contract. For more information about prevailing wage requirements, contact the New York State Department of Labor, Bureau of Public Work at (800) 662-1220 or the New York City Comptroller’s Bureau of Labor Law at (212) 669-3500.

Additionally, some local laws within New York State require that certain employees working under a contract with the local government receive a “living wage” set by the law. Check with your local government to see if such laws apply to your employment.

It depends on your job. New York Labor Law section 191 generally provides:

Employee category

Required pay frequency:

Manual Worker (mechanic or laborer)

At least once a week, not more than a week after the wages were earned

Commission Salesperson

As agreed, but at least once a month – on written request, you are also entitled to a statement of earnings due

Other Types of Workers

At least twice a month, on a regular pay day designated in advance

Sometimes employers “misclassify” workers as independent contractors instead of employees. Independent contractors do not have as many rights as employees, and aren’t entitled to minimum wage and overtime protection. Whether you are an employee or independent contractor depends on a variety of factors that relate to the level of control that your employer has over your work. If you suspect that you have been misclassified as an independent contractor, please contact the Labor Bureau using our complaint form

For more information, visit https://labor.ny.gov/ui/dande/ic.shtm

Employees have a right to sue to collect wages, but it is often more practical to complain to the Labor Standards Division of the New York State Department of Labor, which has many local offices around the state. To find the nearest office, you can check the Department of Labor’s website at https://www.labor.ny.gov/home/. You can also contact the Labor Bureau using our complaint form

No. You have the right to report violations and it is against the law for your employer to retaliate against you, or punish you in any way for reporting violations. Employers who retaliate against workers for reporting violations are subject to a $10,000 penalty per violation, in addition to being liable for lost compensation and up to $10,000 per violation in liquidated damages.