You work hard to bring home a paycheck and support your family. The last thing you want to deal with at work is an employer that does not provide you with your fair share of pay. All too often, employers are tempted to take advantage of their labor force by failing to pay employees according to state and federal mandatory wage and hour laws. We have assisted many employees and employers in wage and hour or overtime claims.
Minimum Wage Laws in the State of New York
As of December 31, 2019, the required minimum wage law in New York was increased to $15.00 per hour. Employers are required to comply with these minimum wage requirements and are also required to post information in common workplace areas informing employees of their right to a minimum wage. These laws are set according to the New York State Minimum Wage Act, in addition to several other minimum wage orders and the Minimum Wage Standards for Farm Workers. With some exceptions, these wage requirements apply to all workers within the State of New York. Employers must also pay employees overtime pay, which typically consists of one-and-a-half times his or her pay for each hour worked over 40 hours in a week.
New York law also requires employees to be provided with appropriate meal and rest periods. In this state, employees must be provided with a meal period between 30 and 60 minutes, depending on the nature of their occupation, when their work shift begins, and how many hours their work shift will last. The same rules apply to rest periods, which typically must last for at least 15 minutes. There are some instances in which employees may take shorter meal periods, provided that there is no hardship to the employee and the meal period is not less than 20 minutes.
Additionally, employers are prohibited from making certain illegal deductions from an employee’s paycheck, such as taking money from an employee’s pay because he or she broke something on the job or did poorly on an assignment.
Pursuing Your Unpaid or Withheld Salary
If your employer has not paid you according to New York’s minimum wage law, you may bring a claim to recover your unpaid wages. The state Department of Labor assists workers with collecting unpaid wages from employers. Its investigators can look into the amount of unpaid wages, the amount of any withheld wages, and illegal deductions. The Department also has authority to enforce rules that prohibit an employer from taking illegal kickbacks from wages and appropriating tips.
It is illegal for an employer to retaliate against an employee who complains about an employer’s failure to adhere to the wage and hour laws. Many employers will try to coerce employees into accepting less than the amount of wages due to them according to the law, including threatening to assign them less work or threatening to terminate them if they do not stop requesting payment of their full amount of wages. If this happens to you, it may be possible to hold your employer accountable for damages.
If you are an employer who is the subject of a lawsuit claiming you have failed to pay minimum wage or overtime contact us today.