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 more than 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 an employer is generally required to pay a minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. New York’s minimum wage in New York City is now $15.00 per hour.  
  • 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 above 40 in a 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 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 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 to maximize your recovery.

New York State Eligibility for Overtime

For many years federal regulations did not increase the amount of salary a professional, administrative or executive employee must make to be exempt from overtime.

Fortunately, New York State has increased the threshold for eliminating the obligation to pay overtime to these employees.

  • The minimum salary for exemption as an “administrative” or “executive” employee is now $1,125 per week ($58,500 annually) for New York City employers with 11 or more employees;
  • The minimum salary for exemption as an “administrative” or “executive” employee is now $1,012.50 per week ($52,650) for New York City employers with 10 or fewer employees;
  • The minimum salary for exemption as an “administrative” or “executive” employee is now $900 per week ($46,800 annually) for employers in Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester counties; and
  • The minimum salary for exemption as an “administrative” or “executive” employee is now $832 per week ($43,264 annually) for other counties in New York State.

This means if you are working more than 40 hours a week as an administrative, professional or executive employee and not making at least the minimum salary for exemption, you must be paid overtime.  

New York’s New Minimum Wage

All employees in New York City must receive a minimum wage of $15 per hour unless covered by a special wage order.

In Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester Counties, the minimum wage is now $12.00 per hour and will increase by $1.00 per hour each December 31st until it reaches$15.00 per hour on December 31, 2021.

Fast Food Workers

Fast Food Workers in New York City had a special schedule for increases in the minimum wage for the past few years but today the minimum is $15.00 per hour.  

Undocumented Workers Are Still Protected

Undocumented workers are still protected under the law and must be paid the legally required wages. Courts will force 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 big 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 for. a free review of your problem.