From 12/31/2016 to 12/30/2017, the basic minimum wage is $9.70 per hour in most of New York State. There are different minimum wage rates for: the fast food industry; Long Island; Westchester County; and large and small employers in New York City. If you have questions, please review our minimum wage information page. If you need additional assistance or want to file a complaint, please call: 1-888-4-NYSDOL (1-888-469-7365).
Q: What are the regulations for the employment of child performers in New York State?
A: You can find the regulations for employing child performers in New York State in the Legal section of the DOL website via this link.
Q: What is the current Minimum Wage in New York State?
A: For details on the Minimum Wage rates, please see our Minimum Wage page.
|Workers at the minimum wage rate must wear a uniform||Their employers must clean and take care of the uniforms OR Pay the employees to do so|
Q: Where can I find the required posters that summarize the minimum wage rules?
A: Article 19 of the Labor Law requires employers to post the provisions of the Minimum Wage Act. This poster is available at:
Q: What are the rules for overtime?
A: The overtime requirement is based on hours worked in a given payroll week. In general, if you have worked more than 40 hours in a pay week, and are not "exempt", you must be paid an overtime rate for all hours over 40. See the chart below:
|Covered employees||One and one-half times their regular, "straight-time" hourly rate of pay for all hours over 40 in a payroll week|
|Residential employees ("live-in" workers)||One and one-half times their regular, "straight-time" hourly rate of pay for all hours over 44 in a payroll week|
Q: Where can I find details about the state laws for employing minors?
A: For information on "Child Labor" go to:
Q: Must an employer pay workers for holidays, sick time and/or vacations?
A: Under the New York State Labor Law, payment for time not actually worked is not required unless the employer has established a policy to grant such pay. Holidays, sick time and/or vacations fall under 'time not worked.' When an employer does decide to create a benefit policy, that employer is free to impose any conditions they choose.
Q: What is the status of an employer's oral agreement to provide a particular fringe benefit?
A: Section 195.5 of the Labor Law states: Every employer shall notify his employees in writing or by publicly posting the employer's policy on sick leave, vacation, personal leave, holidays and hours.
Q: When employees resign -- or are discharged -- from a job, must the employer pay them for any accrued, unused vacation time?
A: Whether an employer must pay for unused time depends upon the terms of the vacation and/or resignation policy. New York courts have held that an agreement to give benefits or wage supplements, like vacation, can specify that employees lose accrued benefits under certain conditions. [See Glenville Gage Company, Inc. v. Industrial Board of Appeals of the State of New York, Department of Labor, 70 AD2d 283 (3d Dept 1979) affd, 52 NY2d 777 (1980).] To be valid, the employer must have told employees, in writing, of the conditions that nullify the benefit.
|An employee has earned vacation time||There is no written forfeit policy||The employer must pay the employee for the accrued vacation|
Q: How can employees get help to collect Wage Supplements (fringe benefits) that their employer owes them?
A: The Division of Labor Standards investigates and tries to collect claims for unpaid benefits or wage supplements which the employer has agreed to provide. Wage supplements include:
Q: Does the law require that an employer "give notice" of termination?
A: The New York State Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act became a law on August 5, 2008, with the approval of the Governor (passed by a majority vote, three-fifths being present). Under the provisions of the act:
|Private sector employers with 50 or more workers (excluding part-time employees as defined under the regulations).||Employers must provide at least 90 days notice before closing a plant. A plant closing refers to the shutdown of a single site of employment that results in an employment loss of 25 or more full-time employees during any 30-day period. They must send the WARN notice to employees, their representatives, the State Labor Department and local workforce investment partners.|
|For a mass layoff that does not result from a plant closing.||Employers also must provide at least 90 days notice when there is a layoff (excluding part-time employees as defined under the regulations) that affects 33 percent of the workforce (at least 25 workers) or 250 workers from a single employment site. They must send the WARN notice to employees, their representatives, the State Labor Department and local workforce investment partners.|
Q: Where will I find details on pensions and retirement funds, 401Ks, health & welfare plans, continuation of health care coverage and severance?
A: The Employee Benefits Security Administration enforces the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). It also enforces the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA). These acts cover matters that involve:
Q: Can you fire an employee without due cause?
A: Yes. New York State is an "employment-at-will," state. If there is no contract to restrict firing (like a collective bargaining agreement) an employer has the right to discharge an employee at any time for any reason. This also protects the employee's right to resign. An employer may fire an employee for "no reason." An employer may also fire an employee for a reason that might seem arbitrary and unfair. The employee is equally free to quit at any time without needing to explain or defend that decision.
Q: When must terminated employees get their last check?
A: When employment has ended, the employer must pay the wages by the regular payday for the pay period worked. If asked, the employer must mail the final wages to the employee
Q: How can employees get help to collect wages their employer owes them?
A: The Division of Labor Standards investigates claims for unpaid or withheld wages including illegal deductions, and tries to collect these wages. Labor Standards also enforces the prohibition against illegal kickback of wages and tip appropriation.
Q: May employers deduct money from wages?
A: Employers are only allowed to deduct certain items from an employee's wages, such as taxes, insurance premiums, union dues, etc. They are not permitted to charge employees for breakages, cash shortages, fines or any other losses to the business.
Q: What posters must employers display in the workplace? Where can they get the posters?
A: The posters required by New York State law are available at the following website:
Q: Where can I find the New York State Labor Laws on the Internet?
A: The New York State Labor laws are available online at the New York State Assembly homepage:
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