New York overtime law is stronger than the provisions found in the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) which is the bedrock of American wage and labor laws. Areas of employment that are regulated by these provisions include minimum wages, overtime pay and child labor.

Employees (also known as whistleblowers) who file a claim under either New York employment and wage law or the FLSA are protected from any retributions or penalties from or discharge by their employers.

Under New York overtime law, violations are classified as misdemeanors which are punishable by reimbursements of wages, fines, penalties, and even imprisonment.  Civil penalties for each violation of New York  labor laws governing the employment of minors begin at $10,000 for each violation. This penalty does not include fines, imprisonment, or restraint by injunction.

Protecting New York Workers (11/16/10)

One of the nations’ fastest growing health plans, Healthfirst, Inc. has agreed to pay almost $7.7 million to settle a class action suit that alleged the company failed to pay its marketing representatives for overtime. The company is a non-profit which contracts with state and local governments in New York to provide Medicaid-eligible patients with managed care.

Healthfirst, Inc. marketing representatives, who are often paid little more than the Medicaid recipients they recruit, go into low income area hospitals, doctors’ offices, and pharmacies to enroll eligible Medicaid and other free health insurance recipients. Working long hours often into the night, these sales representatives collect and copy Medicaid eligibility documents, and have to fill out detailed the paperwork for each enrollment in order to receive payment.

Even while maintaining that its business practices are and always have been in compliance with wage and labor laws, Healthfirst, Inc. chose to settle because over 100,000 pages of discovery documentation guaranteed that the resulting trial would have been so lengthy as to be detrimental to the company and its customers.

If you think that you have a valid complaint regarding any violations of any provision covered under New York overtime law, you should contact a labor and overtime lawyer who knows New York employment and the FLSA overtime rules.