New York State Labor Law

New York state labor laws were enacted for the protection of New York’s employees. Intended to make the sweatshops of the past obsolete these stringent laws exist to make sure that workers receive their earned wages and as well as fair treatment under these laws. The New York state labor laws cover many provisions including minimum wage, overtime, overtime pay, employee benefits and the employment of minors. It is very important for employers to be aware of all of the New York state labor laws so that they are working in compliance with the law. The minimum wage in New York is $7.25 per hour. The New York state labor law minimum wage provision covers most private sector employees, but does not apply to salespersons, part-time baby sitters, taxicab drivers, or camp counselors. All governmental, executive, administrative and professional employees are also not protected by the minimum wage laws. Employees that are covered by the minimum wage law are also entitled to overtime pay at the rate of one and one-half times the employee’s regular rate of pay for hours worked in excess of forty hours in one workweek. So, if an employee’s normal rate of pay is $10.00 per hour, overtime pay will amount to $15.00 for each overtime hour. There is no limit on the amount of overtime that an employee may be required to work. However, as a general rule, manual workers must be given one 24 hour consecutive period off per week, although there are some exceptions to that rule. New York wage and hour law provides that all private sector employees be paid in a timely fashion (aside from those who are executive, administrative or professional employees and earn more than $600 per week): * Manual employees–weekly and within 7 days after the work week ends * Clerical and other employees–at least twice per month * Commissioned salespersons–at least once per month and no later than the last day of the month during which the wages and commissions were earned An employer must advise employees of their rate of pay and of their regular pay date at the time of hiring. As another form of payment for their work with their company, many employees enjoy the benefits health insurance. According to the New York state labor laws an employer is not required to provide additional benefits such as health insurance, paid vacation, or paid sick leave, but if the employers fails to provide certain benefits after agreeing to do so, it constitutes a criminal offense in New York. Additionally, an employer is required to post or otherwise advise its employees of its policy regarding sick leave, vacation, personal leave, holidays and hours of work. Employers are required to maintain payroll records for each employee indicating the hours worked, gross wages, payroll deductions and net wages and must furnish this information to each employee with every paycheck. Finally, the New York state labor law covers the employment of minors. It is lawful for a company to hire a minor but they must meet the following criteria: * Minors not yet 14 may not be employed at any time, neither after school nor during vacation * Minors 14 and 15 years old may work after school hours and during vacations, but not in factory work. They may do delivery and clerical work in any enclosed office of a factory, and in dry cleaning, tailor, shoe repair, and similar service stores. * Minors 16 and 17 years of age, if not attending school, may work full time throughout the year. Factory work is permitted for minors 16 years of age or older. In an effort to keep employees from breaking these laws, the state of New York and the FLSA require companies to hang posters with the rights of employees in plain sight. It is very important for employees to know their rights so that they are fully compensated for their work. It is also very important for employers to know the laws so that they do not unknowingly cheat their workers of their earned payment. If an employer does not follow these laws they can be held liable for damages to their workers and may also be made to pay fines to the state for breaking the laws.

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