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The New York 10-Hour Rule is a crucial aspect of labor law, governing how long employees can be required to work in New York and under what conditions. If you’re an employee in New York, you might wonder how this rule impacts your work schedule and rights. 

What is the NY 10-Hour Rule?

The New York 10-Hour Rule plays a significant role in the state’s labor laws and is designed to safeguard employees from excessive work hours and to promote a healthy work-life balance. Under this rule, non-exempt employees in New York are entitled to receive an extra hour of pay at the minimum wage rate if their workday extends beyond 10 hours. This includes the spread of hours from the beginning to the end of the workday, encompassing both the work hours and any breaks or off-duty time within. For instance, if an employee’s day starts at 8 AM and ends at 7 PM, including a lunch break, they are eligible for this additional compensation. This rule ensures that employers recognize and compensate the extended hours their employees put in, offering a financial incentive to maintain reasonable working hours.

How the NY 10-Hour Rule Affects You

The New York 10-Hour Rule directly impacts employees working in New York, especially those in sectors with long or irregular hours. If your workday, including breaks, spans over 10 hours, this rule entitles you to additional pay, serving as a protective measure against excessively long workdays. This can be particularly relevant if you’re in industries like retail, hospitality, or healthcare, where extended shifts are common. For example, if you’re a nurse working a 12-hour shift from 7 AM to 7 PM, this rule ensures you’re compensated for the extended hours. It’s not just about extra pay; it also encourages employers to manage work schedules more thoughtfully, promoting better work-life balance. 

While the obligation to pay the extra hour at minimum wage can generally be offset by amounts paid in excess of the minimum wage (for non-overtime hours), under the Hospitality Wage Order, there is no ability to offset, so spread of hours pay will be owed whenever it is triggered.

Exceptions to the Rule

Certain exceptions exist to the NY 10-Hour Rule, primarily based on the type of employment or specific industry regulations. For example, employees who are classified as exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), such as those in executive, administrative, or professional roles, are not covered by this rule. Additionally, specific industries like live-in domestic workers and farm laborers have different regulations. Unionized workers might also have varying rules, as their work hours and compensation can be governed by collective bargaining agreements. It’s important to understand these nuances to determine if and how the rule applies to your specific employment situation.

Legal Implications for Violations

If an employer violates the NY 10-Hour Rule, there are legal implications that can arise. Employees who are not compensated for the additional hour of pay as mandated by this rule can seek legal redress. This could involve filing a claim with the New York State Department of Labor or initiating a lawsuit for unpaid wages. Employers found in violation may be required to pay back wages, penalties, and in some cases, legal fees. This enforcement mechanism underscores the seriousness of the rule and acts as a deterrent against non-compliance.

Questions About the New York 10-Hour Rule? The Lore Law Firm Can Help

At the Lore Law Firm, we are dedicated to protecting the rights of employees and ensuring they receive the compensation they’re entitled to under the NY 10-Hour Rule. Our experienced team can provide you with personalized advice and effective legal representation. If you believe your rights have been violated, don’t hesitate to contact us through our free and confidential online client intake form and let us help you explore your options.

Michael Lore is the founder of The Lore Law Firm. For over 25 years, his law practice and experience extend from representing individuals in all aspects of labor & employment law, with a concentration in class and collective actions seeking to recover unpaid back overtime wages, to matters involving executive severance negotiations, non-compete provisions and serious personal injury (work and non-work related). He has handled matters both in the state and federal courts nationwide as well as via related administrative agencies. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Michael by using our chat functionality.