Overtime Pay Laws in New York

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What are Overtime Pay Laws in New York?

The Fair Standards Labor Act outlines federal labor laws in the United States, and Title 29 of the Code of Federal Regulations establishes federal guidelines for overtime pay for American workers. 29 C.F.R. § 778.107 specifically outlines the general standard for overtime pay rate being the standard “time and a half” calculation that many people are familiar with.

This means that your overtime rate is 50% higher than your standard hourly rate. The legal overtime rate is reached by adding half of the standard hourly rate to the hourly rate.

Overtime is applied when an employee who is paid an hourly rate works more than 40 hours in a work week. State laws must abide by federal regulations, but can adapt specific pay rates based on their state minimum wages. In New York State, the minimum wage increased to $9.00 on Dec. 31, 2015, making the standard minimum wage overtime rate $13.50.

In New York State, State Labor Law Section 651 contains guidelines for overtime rates and mandatory overtime.

How Do Employees Accumulate Overtime Hours?

Employees must be considered “non-exempt” in order to be eligible for overtime pay. They must be paid by hour.

Exempt employees are those who are paid on a yearly salary model. They receive a set amount per pay period and are expected to work as much as necessary to fulfil their job requirements. They do not receive overtime pay for working more than a certain amount of hours per week.

The Fair Labor Standards Act and New York State law dictates minimum wages standards for New York. It is illegal in New York State for an hourly rate to be less than $9.00 an hour.

Bonuses, gifts, vacation time and holiday time many not be included in overtime wage rate calculations.
An otherwise increased rate awarded to an employee for working a weekend or a holiday may not be subject to an overtime calculation rate in New York State.

Employees working from home are eligible for the same overtime rate as workplace employees.

Do Overtime Laws Apply to All Professions Equally?

Hospital and residential care workers have a different rate of calculations for overtime pay. They will receive the greater number of overtime hours for either more than 8 hours per day or more than 80 hours in a 14-day pay cycle.

The above FSLA overtime regulations are applicable to entities known as “enterprises.” This includes most employing entities and organizations, but excludes some other service careers such as police, firefighters, and emergency personnel workers. These professions are protected by FSLA standards, but their shifts and overtime rations are measured in “tours of duty” rather than in 40-hour work weeks. 

Farm workers, religious clergy, college faculty, camp counselors, taxicab drivers, part-time baby-sitters, and childcare workers are exempt from mandatory overtime in New York State. 

Do I Need a Lawyer?

If you are not receiving overtime wages you are legally owed, you can make a complaint with the Labor Standards Division of the New York State Department of Labor or with the New York Attorney General’s Labor Bureau.

If you are not receiving overtime pay that you have legally accumulated, an employment lawyer can help you build a case to recoup wages that are owed to you. If you have questions about forced or mandatory overtime, a lawyer can also help you figure out your rights and responsibilities in relation to your employer.

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Last Modified: 02-29-2016 12:13 PM PST

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