While employers may feel like they should control how much they pay workers, there are state laws that regulate this. These laws are in place to ensure workers are paid a fair wage. After all, living in New York is expensive and nobody can survive on $5 an hour.
On December 31, 2018, New York raised its minimum wage to $13.50 an hour for employers with 10 or fewer employees. Businesses with 11 or more employees must pay them $15 an hour. This applies to many industries in the state, including farming, but not all.
The federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour. Since the state wage is higher, workers are entitled to the state wage per hour.
When are Workers Exempt From Minimum Wage?
Not every position requires payment of the minimum wage. Young employees and students may be paid less, under state and federal law. New York employers are allowed to pay new employees under the age of 20 a wage of $4.25 per hour. This is only allowed for the first 90 days of employment. After that time has passed, state minimum wage laws apply.
There is also a special wage for students in New York. High school and college students who attend school full-time and work part-time may be paid 85% of the state minimum wage. This means business with fewer than 10 employees may pay their student workers $11.48 per hour and $12.75 per hour for larger companies. This reduced wage is good for up to 20 hours of work per week, and for certain employers, such as universities.
Another exception to the minimum wage law is janitors in residential buildings. Their rate is $9 an hour for employers with fewer than 10 employees, and $10 an hour for larger employers.
For those in executive and administrative positions, the minimum wage is $1,125 per week, for large employers and $1,012.50 for small employers with fewer than 10 employees.
Laws for Workers Who Receive Tips
Tip credits apply to restaurant workers and others who receive tips. The minimum wage rates still apply. However, if the worker is receiving a substantial amount of tips, the employer may use a tip credit to offset how much they are paying. Workers must receive the minimum cash wage per hour and they must be informed if the employer plans to use the tip credit.
For large employers, the rate is $12.50 cash wage, $2.50 credit, and a $3.25 tip threshold. For small employers, the rate is $11.25 cash wage, $2.25 credit, and a $2.95 tip threshold. This is different for resort employees. The rates are also different when calculating overtime hourly rates.
Contact a New York Wage and Hour Dispute Lawyer
It is not uncommon for employers to cheat hard-working employees out of the wages they deserve. If this has happened to you, contact the Department of Labor. If nothing has been done, contact us next.
If you are facing a wage or hour dispute with your employer, the attorneys at Ricotta & Marks, P.C. can help your employer accountable. Discuss your situation with us by scheduling a consultation. Call our office today at (347) 464-8694.