What You Need to Know About Upcoming Changes to New York’s Wage and Hour Laws

In New York, most workers who earn minimum wage are currently making $9.70 per hour. There are exceptions, such as a $10.75 per hour minimum wage for workers who earn tips, and an $11 per hour minimum wage for non-tipped employees of large employers in New York City. However, beginning in December 2017 and through December of 2020, New York minimum wage laws are changing.

Increases Mandated by Law

New York's minimum wage laws were increased by the 2016-2017 budget signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo. Beginning in December 2017, workers in all fields will be entitled to gradual increases in pay. Overall, this impacts 2.3 million workers across the state of New York. The current plan is:

  • New York City Employees – for employees of businesses with at least 11 employees, minimum wage will be $11 at the end of 2016 and increase $2 per year. By December 31, 2018 these employees will be earning $15 per hour. Small businesses will increase pay $1.50 per year and workers will be earning $15 per hour by December 31, 2019.
  • Certain County Level Employees – currently, employees in Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester county are earning $10.00 per hour. This will increase $1 per hour until December 31, 2021.
  • All Other Employees – other workers who are subject to $9.70 minimum wage as of December 31, 2016 will receive an annual increase of $.70 per hour. These workers will earn $12.50 per hour by December 31, 2020. At that time, there will be a separate schedule for increases which will be determined later.

When Employers Violate the Law

As an employee, you may feel that you have no options if your employer does not follow through on scheduled minimum wage increases. However, you have the right to earn the minimum wage and if your employer fails to increase your pay, you should discuss the matter with an employment law attorney. In many cases, an attorney can ensure that you get the appropriate hourly raise, as well as help you collect back wages that the employer did not pay.

Remember, your employer must also pay you overtime pay if you work more than 40 hours in a week. This means if they have not increased your pay in line with the state changes, they may also owe you additional overtime pay. Any refusal to pay minimum wage or overtime, is a violation of the state's wage and overtime laws, and may violate federal wage and hour laws as well.

Hiring a New York Wage and Hour Attorney

If your employer is not following New York wage and hour laws, it’s critical that you reach out for experienced legal help. You have the legal right to be paid the minimum wage and, in certain circumstances, to collect overtime pay at time-and-a-half. At The Law Office of Christopher Q. Davis, we can help put pressure on your employer to abide by New York State and federal wage and hour laws. Contact us today for a consultation by calling (646) 430-7930.