Rising Cost of Overtime Violations in New York State

Rising overtime violations are an increasing problem for workers in New York State. Wage theft occurs when an employer illegally refuses to pay an employee for all hours worked. Illegal violations can include when an employer doesn’t pay minimum wage, overtime wages, off-the-clock work, etc. Unpaid wages particularly harm minimum and low-wage workers who often struggle to make ends meet. For these workers, every paycheck is essential to cover basic expenses. Fortunately, wage laws help ensure that all workers receive their proper earnings. New York recently updated their overtime law to cover any worker who earns less than $52,000 a year and works more than 40 hours in a week.

Study On Overtime Violations In New York

Employee surveys show that when an employer commits wage theft, workers’ income may decrease up to 50%. A Department of Labor study on minimum wage violations in New York and California found that the affected workers lost 37–49% of their income. These illegal practices put between 15,000 and 67,000 families below the poverty line. Between 50,000–100,000 families already below the poverty line were also impacted. Over one year, these minimum wages amount to an estimated $1.6 billion–$2.5 billion in New York and California alone. With this information, researchers estimate that the total minimum wage violations across the nation are roughly between $8.6 and $13.8 billion. Overtime pay violations may be even higher, as these violations are typically in larger amounts individually. Overtime violations are most common among low wage workers. One study found that 19% of front-line workers in low wage industries were not paid proper overtime earnings.

Ensuring Employer Compliance To Avoid Overtime Violations

The previous studies show that we need to be doing a better job to ensure that employers are complying with the law. President Trump has recently advocated for increases to the budget and staffing of the U.S. Wage and Hour Division, which enforces overtime law. Congress could also consider increasing the penalties for employers who fail to comply with the law. An employer that commits wage theft should face consequences to deter repeat offenses. In the meantime, any worker who has not been paid their rightfully earned wages should consult an experienced employment attorney. The injustice of not being properly paid can be resolved in court, and workers with successful cases can sue to earn back the wages that they should have been paid in the first place.

Seek Legal Assistance Today

If you have not been paid overtime wages, seek legal assistance today. The Law Office of Christopher Q. Davis, located in New York City, can assist you. Contact us today at (646) 430-7930 to schedule a free case evaluation and receive experienced legal counsel.