As an employee, overtime is your right whether you work for the government or a private company. But overtime policies can often be complex, making it difficult for you to assert your rights effectively. From federal regulations to exemptions, you need to know as much about New York overtime pay laws as possible. Here are the most frequently asked questions about overtime pay laws in New York.
19 Commonly Asked Questions About Overtime Pay Laws In New York
1. What is Overtime Pay?
Overtime pay is the compensation you receive for working outside of regular working hours. The laws pertaining to overtime pay may change from state to state. As per New York overtime pay laws, employees are entitled to overtime pay for every hour worked over 40 hours in a work week. The law requires employers to compensate employees for overtime hours at 1.5 times the employee’s regular pay rate.
2. When is Overtime Due?
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, employees covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) must receive overtime pay for extra hours worked over the first 40 in a workweek of at least one and one-half times their regular rates of pay.
As per New York overtime pay laws, almost all covered employees are entitled to overtime pay for all hours worked beyond 40 hours in the workweek. However, there are a few exceptions. For example, residential employees are entitled to overtime pay for all hours worked beyond 44 hours in the workweek.
3. What is the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)?
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) protects employees in the private sector, and federal, state, and local governments by enacting laws on minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping, and youth employment standards.
However, many states have their own laws for minimum wage and/or overtime pay. For example, in New York, the minimum wage will be $14.20 an hour beginning December 31, 2022, which is more than $7.25 per hour as per the FLSA. But the New York overtime pay laws mandate a 40-hour work week, beyond which employers have to pay overtime 1 ½ times the regular pay, which is the same as the FLSA.
4. Is It Illegal For Employers To Not Pay Overtime?
Yes, the overtime pay laws in New York require your employers to pay overtime. If your employer fails to compensate you for your overtime hours, you can file a complaint with the state’s labor department. However, it is better to talk to an employee rights lawyer first. They can help you understand your legal rights and the best course of action required to assert them.
5. How Do You Calculate Overtime Pay?
As per the New York overtime pay laws, the overtime rate for non-exempted employees is 1.5 times the employee’s regular pay. For example, if your hourly wage is $20, you are entitled to overtime pay of no less than $30 an hour. So, if you worked 10 hours of overtime in a week, you should receive $300 as overtime pay before taxes.
6. Does Working on the Weekends Count as Overtime?
You will need to exceed the weekly threshold of your regular work hours for working on weekends to count as overtime pay. If you are past your 40-hour work week and working on weekends, it should qualify as overtime pay.
7. Does Working on Holidays Count as Overtime?
Just like working on weekends, working on holidays won’t qualify as overtime pay automatically. You get overtime pay only if your work hours exceed their weekly threshold of 40 hours on holiday.
8. What is Considered the Workweek When It Comes to Overtime Pay?
According to the Department of Labor (DOL), a workweek is seven consecutive 24-hour periods that equate to 168 hours. It may begin on any day of the week and at any hour established by the employer.
9. What is the Difference Between Exempt and Nonexempt Employees?
According to the FLSA, an employee’s day-to-day duties and salary determine whether an employee is exempt or non-exempt. You must earn a minimum of $684 per week as a salary to be exempt. Exempt employees are not entitled to overtime pay.
On the other hand, if you earn less than $684 per week and your duties are in accordance with FLSA specifications, you will be a non-exempt employee. Thus, you will be entitled to overtime pay. If you think you are misclassified as an exempt employee, talk to an experienced employee rights attorney immediately.
10. What is the New Minimum Wage Rate?
Just like New York overtime pay laws determine your overtime, the minimum wage act defines the minimum wage you can receive. In New York, the minimum wage varies by industry and region.
According to NY State DOL, from December 31, 2021, through December 30, 2022, the minimum is $15 for NYC, Long Island, and Westchester, and will remain unchanged from December 31, 2022, through December 30, 2023.
However, the minimum is $13.20 for the remainder of the NY state from December 31, 2021, through December 30, 2022. It will increase to $14.20 an hour beginning December 31, 2022.
11. Can Employees Reclassified as Non-Exempt Recover Unpaid Overtime Pay?
Yes. In most cases, an employee gets reclassified because they were initially misclassified. The overtime pay laws in New York allow you to recover up to double your unpaid overtime wages going back two to three years before reclassification. However, you should consult an employee rights attorney to make an informed decision.
12. Can Employees Be Forced to Work Overtime?
Yes. Your employer can ask you to work overtime, and they have the right to fire you if you refuse to work overtime. However, there are exceptions to this rule, such as union contracts, employment contracts, computer professionals, workers responsible for childcare, and more. If you suspect you were fired illegally, consult an employee rights lawyer immediately.
13. When is Double Time Due?
The FLSA or overtime pay laws in New York have no requirement or specifications for double time. It is usually a matter of agreement between the employer and the employees. For example, if your employer agrees to pay double time on Sundays, you are entitled to double time pay when you work Sundays.
14. Do Salaried Workers Get Overtime Pay?
It’s not that simple. You need to know whether you are an exempt or non-exempt employee to be eligible for overtime pay. Your salary needs to be less than $684 a week, and your job duties need to meet certain specifications to qualify for overtime pay. Contact an employee rights attorney to clear your doubts.
15. What Happens When an Employer Fails to Pay Overtime?
You can file a complaint with the DOL or file a lawsuit against the employer. But it is highly recommended to speak with an employee rights lawyer first.
16. Do Seasonal Workers Get Overtime Pay?
According to the overtime pay laws in New York, seasonal employees must receive overtime pay at the rate of 1.5 times their regular pay for all hours worked over 40 hours in a workweek.
17. How Do I Protect My Overtime Pay Rights?
The New York overtime pay laws have a provision to help you fight for your rights. There are two ways to do this. You can file a complaint with the Department of Labor or hire an employee rights attorney to check if you can file a lawsuit privately. The latter is the most preferred way to recover unpaid overtime dues.
18. How Much Overtime Pay Can I Recover?
The New York overtime pay laws allow you to recover all unpaid overtime for two or even three years before filing the lawsuit. Moreover, you can also recover “liquidated damages” equal to your unpaid overtime.
19. Will My Overtime Pay Recovery Be Taxed?
Yes. Unpaid overtime is nothing but unpaid wages, which get taxed. So, your recovery will be considered income and be taxed accordingly.
Contact a Reliable Employee Rights Lawyer Now
Getting overtime pay is your right as an employee. The law clearly states that all non-exempt employees are entitled to overtime pay. But before you file a lawsuit against your employer, you should know as much about overtime pay laws in New York as possible. Hopefully, these 21 frequently asked questions will help you get started.
If you need help asserting your overtime pay rights, we can help. Bantle & Levy can help you recover your unpaid overtime pay. Contact us today.