New York City Unpaid Overtime or Wages Lawyer

Workers in New York City are protected by both federal and state laws mandating that people be fairly compensated. Under these laws, people are guaranteed at least a minimum wage for work they do and, in certain cases, for one and a half times their hourly wage for work performed in excess of 40 hours during a week. Unfortunately, wage theft – paying people less than the law requires – is rampant. Call (212) 868-6300 and schedule an appointment for a free consultation with a wage and hour attorney to find out your rights.

Unpaid Overtime or Wages and the FLSA

Federal law – the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (FLSA) was enacted to ensure that workers in America are adequately compensated for the work they do. The FLSA has two major provisions when it comes to employee pay:

  • Minimum Wage – if an employer meets the test to be covered by federal law that employer is generally required to pay a minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. New York’s minimum wage is currently $9.00 per hour and this higher minimum wage must be paid.
  • Overtime Wages – having met the test for federal coverage, the employer is required to pay non-exempt employees time and a half the employee’s normal hourly rate for all hours worked in excess of 40 each week.

Under the FLSA, an employee has two years to file a lawsuit in federal court against an employer for unpaid overtime or wages (three years if the FLSA violation is considered to be willful). In addition, the plaintiff’s attorneys’ fees and liquidated damages, which double the amount owed to the employee, can be recovered.

Under New York State law, the minimum wage is currently $9.00 per hour. Under state law an employee can sue for wage theft going back 6 years. State law also provides for overtime. It is possible to combine both state law claims with federal claims and litigate both at the same time in federal court in order to maximize your recovery.

New Federal Eligibility for Overtime

Federal regulations will be soon changed making millions of professional, administrative and executive employees eligible for overtime.
Effective December 1, 2016, the salary threshold for exempting these groups from overtime will increase from $455 per week to $913 per week (or $47,476 annually). In 2017, if you are still making less than $47,476 per year and are not being paid for hours worked over 40 in a week, you should speak with an attorney at Cary Kane.

New York’s New Minimum Wage

In New York City, the minimum wage for employees working for large businesses (those with at least 11 employees) will increase to $11 per hour on December 31, 2016. The minimum wage rate will further increase by $2 each year thereafter, reaching $15 per hour on December 31, 2018.
The minimum wage for New York City employees working for small businesses (those with 10 or fewer employees) will increase to $10.50 per hour on December 31, 2016. The minimum wage rate for small business employees will further increase by $1.50 each year thereafter, reaching $15 per hour on December 31, 2019.

In Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester Counties, the minimum wage will increase to $10 per hour on December 31, 2016. The minimum wage rate for employees in these counties will increase by $1.00 each year thereafter, reaching $15 per hour on December 31, 2021.

Fast Food Workers

Fast Food Workers in New York City will have a special higher minimum wage of $12.00 per hour effective December 31, 2016, $13.50 per hour effective December 31, 2017 and $15.00 per hour effective December 31, 2018. If you work for a Fast Food Establishment and your job duties include doing customer service, cooking, food or drink preparation, delivery, security stocking supplies or equipment, cleaning or routine maintenance you are covered for the Fast Food Worker minimum wage. To be a Fast Food Establishment the company must be part of a chain of 30 or more locations.

Undocumented Workers Are Still Protected

Undocumented workers are still protected under the law and must be paid the legally required wages. Courts will require an employer to give back pay to improperly compensated employees even if they are not legally in the United States. The courts will not allow employers to raise immigration issues when the employee sues the employer for payment of minimum wages or overtime.

Restaurant Tip Credit Workers

Tip Credit Workers law is complicated. How much of a tip credit can be taken, who can share in tip pools and overtime for Tip Credit Workers are all issues. If you are a Tip Credit Worker and believe that you are not being properly paid, talk to one of our attorneys.

Discuss Your Wage and Hour Claims with an Attorney in New York City

Both federal and state wage and hour laws are very technical with many significant exemptions. If you think you have a claim for minimum wages or overtime, you should speak to an attorney at Cary Kane.
The consultation is free. We will maximize your recovery and if you have co-workers with the same problem, let us know, because we can bring a “class action” to recover on behalf of everyone at the same time.
Don’t delay. Call (212) 868-6300 and schedule an appointment for a free consultation.


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