You work hard day in and day out to earn your wages. You’ve been loyal to your employer and put in the long hours to make a difference and help cover shifts when no one else can. But then, you never see those extra hours accounted for in your paycheck. This isn’t just morally wrong, it’s illegal.
Nonpayment of wages happens all the time across a wide variety of industries. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be fought. At Bantle & Levy LLP, we work diligently to protect you and fight for your compensation in a nonpayment of wages battle.
New York Compensation Laws
In New York state, employers must pay minimum wage for all hours worked. In addition, employers must also pay overtime for hours worked over the standard 40, except in specific situations.
The following laws regulate the payment of wages both on the federal and state level.
- Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA): FLSA establishes the minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping, and youth employment standards for employees in the private sector and in Federal, State, and local governments.
- New York’s Wage Theft Prevention Act: Requires employers to give written notice of wage rates to each new hire.
- New York Labor Law: Requires employers to pay one-half times your regular rate of pay for hours worked after 40 in a workweek.
Though laws are in place, employers continue to violate wage and hour laws. Common nonpayment of wages scenarios include:
- Failure To Pay Overtime: To avoid paying overtime, employers will pay an employee by a fixed day rate, regardless of the number of hours worked; paying the employee the same hourly rate for those hours worked over 40; and refusing to include all valid work time in computing overtime pay.
- Failure To Pay Minimum Wage: New York minimum wage laws have changed as per the New York laws of the Minimum Wage Act. The actual minimum wage is dependent on the region.
- Violations To Tipped Employees: In New York, an employer cannot require tipped employees to pool their tips with employees who do not typically receive tips, such as chefs and other kitchen staff, yet many employers do it anyway.
- Independent Contractors: Independent contractors make their own rules, and because of this they do not have the protection of most overtime and minimum wage laws. Yet, when an employer begins to treat an independent contractor as a full-time employee, that person should receive the same wages and benefits.
- Misclassification of Employees: Some positions are exempt from overtime pay and in order to avoid paying employees rightly earned overtime, employers may misclassify those workers. However, just because an employee is told they are exempt from overtime does not mean they are.
- Off the Clock Work: Even if your employer does not authorize the time you have worked outside of your shift, you must be compensated for that time.
- Unauthorized Withholding: Any withholdings must be made known to an employee. So it is illegal when your employer:
- Doesn’t pay for on-the-job training, promised bonuses, overtime, holiday or vacation time;
- Withholds tips;
- Reduces the hourly rate without notice;
- A paycheck bounces.
Filing a Nonpayment of Wages Claim
To file a nonpayment of wages claim in New York, you must file with the State Department of Labor claims. However, it must meet a set of criteria. This includes:
- Be employed in New York State;
- Must be a regular employee on the payroll, not a freelancer or an independent contractor;
- Not a government worker, commission-only salespeople, or executive and administrative professionals who earn more than $900 per week.
In addition, you can meet with a New York nonpayment of wages attorney to guide you through the process.
New York Nonpayment of Wages: Bantle & Levy LLP
If you have been shortchanged by your employer, the time to act is now. Contact the New York nonpayment of wages attorneys of Bantle & Levy LLP. We will work diligently to determine the merits of your claim and seek the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a consultation.