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New York Drivers Are Entitled to Overtime at 1.5 Times Minimum Wage

Although not eligible for overtime pay at a rate of one and one-half times their regular wage, New York employees who operated vehicles in interstate commerce must still be paid overtime at a rate of at least one and one-half times the New York minimum wage. As recently noted in a court decision, the New York Labor Law plainly states that employees subject to the FLSA’s motor carrier exemption must still receive overtime pay, just at a different pay rate.

The Lawsuit – Armored Services Drivers are Not Exempt Under NY Law

The case was brought by current and former employees of IBI Armored Services, a vehicle service that transports money to and from grocery stores and banks in New York City. In 2014, plaintiff was paid $11 per hour, and in 2015, he was paid $12 per hour. Drivers claimed violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) and New York Labor Law (“NYLL”). Specifically, they claim that since May 2014, they had not been paid minimum wage, overtime, or spread-of-hours compensation and that they were not given proper wage statements.

The workers admitted that their job was exempt from federal overtime law under the Motor Carrier Exemption, however, they argued that they were entitled to overtime compensation under the NY Labor Law at a rate of one and one-half times the New York minimum wage. 

“…[e]mployees subject to FLSA exemptions like the Motor Carrier Exemption are nonetheless entitled to overtime compensation at a rate of one and one- half times the [NY State] minimum wage”

In siding with the workers, the court stated – “[a] plain reading of the provision demonstrates that employees subject to FLSA exemptions like the Motor Carrier Exemption are nonetheless entitled to overtime compensation at a rate of one and one-  half times the [NY State] minimum wage.”  “In short, the NYLL clearly states that for employees who are exempt from the FLSA under the Motor Carrier Exemption, employers must provide overtime compensation at a rate of one and one-half times the minimum wage.”

This case impacts the overtime rights of other New York workers as well, including those who are a “salesman, partsman, or mechanic primarily engaged in selling or servicing automobiles, trucks, or farm implements” and employees “employed by an establishment which is a motion picture theater.”  Under this case, these types of employees, who are exempt under the FLSA but are not exempt under the NYLL, are now entitled to overtime at one and one-half times the state minimum wage.

What to Do If You Have Been Paid Less than New York’s Required Overtime Pay

If you have been working overtime and have not been paid at least time and a-half the applicable NY minimum wage rate, there is a good chance that you and your coworkers could be missing out on significant overtime wages. The first thing you should do is begin keeping your own accurate record of all time actually spent working. The next step should be to contact a lawyer who handles New York overtime pay and wage and hour cases to review your situation.

If you have questions or believe that you have been the victim of wage theft contact us for a free and confidential review of your situation.