Tand & Associates is a law firm you can count on when it comes to any confusions or disputes relative to employment. One common issue handled by our employment attorneys concerns wage and hour claims. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) established a basic minimum wage for all employees, regardless of whether they work for a small business or a large company, whether they are blue collar or white collar workers, and whether or not they have managerial positions.
Basic Minimum Wage
As of December 31, 2016, the minimum wage increased throughout New York State; it does, however, vary depending on the region in which you work. The minimum wage in all five boroughs of New York City is now $10.50 per hour for businesses with 10 or fewer employees and $11.00 per hour for businesses employing 11 or more people. In Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester Counties, the minimum wage for small and large companies is $9.70 and $10.00, respectively, while In the remainder of the state, the minimum wage is $9.70. In the case of workers who receive tips, hourly rates may be lower, although fast food companies are taking steps to raise hourly rates and seeing positive effects of this action, such as increased productivity and lower employee turnover.
Whether you are an employer or an employee, you should be aware that posters displaying minimum wage information must be posted in the workplace in a location visible to all employees.
If employees in New York state work for at least 6 consecutive hours, they are entitled to half an hour for a meal, though that break time is not considered work time and they do not have to be paid for it. Employers need not give their employees additional break time, though most allow their workers two 20-minute breaks times during the course of an average 8-hour day. If employers do provide break periods, they cannot deduct these periods from their employees’ wages.
While the FLSA does not require businesses to provide holiday pay, sick time, vacation time (paid or unpaid), or severance pay, it does require employers to pay overtime. Employees who are not exempt must be paid at least one and a half times their normal rate of pay if they work more than 40 hours in the course of a week. The difference between exempt employees, who need not be paid overtime, and nonexempt employees, who must be paid overtime, is that exempt employees are typically in supervisory positions, capable of hiring or firing other employees.
Breaks for Nursing Mothers
Although not all nursing mothers may be allowed nursing breaks under federal law, New York State law guarantees nursing mothers the right to unpaid break periods every 3 hours (at least 20 minutes each time) for the purpose of expressing milk for their children. Nursing mothers may continue to take such breaks for up to 3 years after the baby’s birth and the employer must provide a sanitary private space for the activity. Furthermore, the employer is prohibited from discriminating against nursing employees in any way.
Other Types of Family Leave
Types of Wage and Hour Claims Our Practice Handles
- Unpaid wages
- Withheld wages
- Illegal deductions
- Illegal kickbacks
- Illegal appropriation of tips by employers