Although the State of New York wages are covered under the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA overtime), the New York legislature has passed even more stringent laws to protect workers there.  Nearly all aspects of wages earned in New York are protected under state law including minimum wage, the employment of minors, and employee benefits.

Just about the only aspect of employment labor that is not covered by stricter state laws is overtime pay. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) has set forth laws and guidelines that employers are to abide by when dealing with employees.   When an employee is protected by both Federal and State laws, the employee is legally covered by the law which grants him the most protection under law.

The minimum wage, which covers most private sector employees in New York, was raised to $7.25 per hour in 2009.  New York wages and hour laws mandate that all private sector employees must be paid on a regularly scheduled basis, and IF the employees are told they will receive additional benefits, failure to provide these benefits is a criminal offense in New York.

Employers must also post company policy regarding sick leave, vacation, personal leave, holidays and the length of the workweek.  It is very important for employees to know their rights so that they are fully compensated for their work. Employers are also responsible for maintaining 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. Failure to follow these rules can lead to having to pay damages to workers and penalties or fines to the State.

Finally, the New York labor laws also restrict the employment of minors. No minors under the age of 14 may be employed at any time—and only 16 and 17 year olds who are not attending school may work full time without restrictions.

Also covered under New York wages provisions are minimum wage jobs in the restaurant, hotel, and building service industry, and miscellaneous industries and occupations.

If you live in New York and think that your boss owes you unpaid overtime, complete the Case Evaluation Form as much as you can and submit it to us. One of our wage and overtime lawyers who is knowledgeable in labor and overtime law will be happy to review your situation with you and evaluate your case.

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.