New York employers (including many large retailers) that pay their hourly employees on a bi-weekly or semi-monthly basis may be violating the New York Labor Law that requires manual workers be paid weekly, within seven calendar days of the end of the week in which their wages were earned. Claims for compensation due to the late payment of wages under NYLL are referred to as “delayed wage” claims. 

Untimely wage payment entitles employees to seek double damages under NY state labor laws.  The New York Labor Law provides for damages in the sum of 100% of the delayed wages, attorneys’ fees, and interest on the sum of the delayed wages.

For Example: if an employer pays its “manual employee” $1,000 every two weeks (instead of $500 weekly), the employee may be entitled to recover an additional $500 for each week in which wages were improperly delayed. In most instances, this can result in a worker being owed delayed wage payment damages of approximately 50% of their total annual wages.

New York workers have a 6 year statute of limitations to bring untimely wage payment claims.

You may be a “manual worker” and not know it. Legally, it includes more jobs than you think.

The New York Department of Labor considers “manual workers” to include individuals who spend 25% or more of their working time engaged in physical labor. Physical labor includes all types of physical tasks – for example:

  • heaving lifting, such as stocking shelves, unpacking boxes and bagging purchases
  • cleaning tasks
  • standing and walking for long periods of time
  • operating machinery 
  • arranging inventory
  • patrols for theft / loss prevention
  • installing alarm tags
  • removing secured items from shelves, and

Who is considered a manual worker under New York Labor Law?

Manual workers can include, but are not limited to, jobs such as:

  • customer service and sales associates
  • cashiers
  • stockers
  • receiving clerks and associates
  • specialists
  • hairdressers
  • restaurant workers
  • supermarket employees
  • pharmacy technicians
  • security guards / loss prevention agents
  • janitors
  • carpenters

Employees in the hospitality, retail and construction industries are more likely to qualify as manual workers and need to ensure that they are being paid weekly in accordance with New York Labor Law.

It is also important for non-exempt clerical office workers being paid on a monthly basis to know their rights. New York labor law does not allow monthly wage payments for such workers, and requires that non-exempt clerical workers be paid on at least a semi-monthly basis.

While certain employers may get authorization from the labor commissioner to pay these types of workers at least semi-monthly, most do not. All private-sector employers must abide by the New York Labor Laws regarding timely payment of wages, however it does not apply to state and federal government employers.

What to Do If You Have Not Been Paid Weekly as Required by New York Law

If you have been working in a job that requires you to spend at least 25% of your time performing manual/physical type tasks and have not been paid on a weekly basis,  there is a good chance that you and your coworkers could be owed significant compensation for the late payment of wages.

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