New York wage and overtime laws grant even better protections to New York workers than those guaranteed to all American workers in the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) of 1938 (revised in 2004). New York’s wage laws and regulations cover many provisions including minimum wage, overtime pay rates, employee benefits and the employment of minors. In order to avoid breaking Federal or State wage and overtime laws, it is important for employers to be aware of all of the New York state labor laws.

Most private sector workers are covered by the minimum wage in New York which is currently set at $7.25 for each hour worked. Exceptions to the minimum wage law include part-time baby sitters, salespersons, camp counselors, taxicab drivers. Government employees, executives, administrative staff, and professional employees are usually classified as exempt employees who are not eligible for either minimum wage or overtime pay protection.

Non-exempt employees are protected by the minimum wage law (which may include some salaried employees who are classified as non-exempt based on their job duties) and are also entitled to overtime pay at the rate of 1.5 times the employee’s standard pay for working more than 40 hours in a single work week.

Surprisingly, there is no limit to the amount of overtime that an employee may be required to work under either the Federal FLSA overtime or New York wage laws. With few exceptions, though, non-exempt workers must be given at least one 24 hour consecutive period off per week.

As another form of payment for their work with their company, many employees enjoy the benefits health insurance. New York wage laws do not mandate that employers must 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.

Employers are also required to keep 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.

The New York wage regulations permit the employment of minors with the following limitations:

* 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 better inform employees of their rights and to keep employers from breaking these laws, the state of New York and the FLSA require companies to hang posters with the employment rights of employees in plain view. If an employer does not follow these New York wage laws they can be held liable for damages to their workers and may also have to pay fines to the state for breaking the laws.

If your employer has violated any of these New York wages or overtime laws, your first step should be contacting an experienced wage and overtime attorney who can help you decide if your have a strong case that is worth pursuing.