Most employees are required to be paid overtime pay if they work more than forty hours in a week. The overtime laws, however, exempt certain types of workers, such as executives and administrators, from their protection. It is very common for employers to try to evade their obligation to pay employees overtime wages by improperly classifying large groups of employees as exempt administrative employees, or dishonestly or mistakenly treating them as though they fall under another statutory exemption.
Just because your employer tells you you are exempt from overtime laws does not mean that you are, in fact, exempt from the law’s protections. Even if your employer has you sign an agreement in which you supposedly agree that you are exempt from the law and therefore not entitled to receive overtime pay, you are still legally entitled to be paid one and a half times your normal hourly rate of pay for any hours you work above forty hours in a week if the type of work you perform is, in reality, non-exempt work under the relevant statutory definitions. This is true even if you are paid an annual or weekly salary, rather than an hourly rate.
The same laws that mandate overtime pay for overtime hours worked also impose minimum wage requirements on employers. In industries where employees customarily work for tips, employers can, if they follow proper procedures, take a “tip credit” that allows them to pay tipped employees a lower hourly wage than the standard minimum wage. But employers routinely fail to follow the law’s requirements and, by doing so, forfeit any right to apply a “tip credit” toward the minimum wage, in which case even tipped employees, like restaurant wait staff, must be paid no less than the full, current minimum hourly wage rate, regardless of how much they also earn in tips. New York State’s current minimum wage requirements are summarized here: www.labor.ny.gov/workerprotection/laborstandards/workprot/minwage.shtm
For most workers, the current (2017) minimum wage in New York City is either $10.50 per hour or $11.00 per hour, depending on the size of the employer.
Experienced New York Overtime & Minimum Wage Lawyers
If you work more than forty hours per week without being paid extra wages for the overtime hours you work, you should consult with a NY employment attorney familiar with New York State and federal overtime laws to discuss your legal rights and options. If you are paid in part through tips but the amount your employer pays you is less than the minimum wage, your employer may be violating your legal rights and owe you money. The experienced New York minimum wage and overtime lawyers of Lichten & Bright, P.C. can help you understand this sometimes complex area of the law and help you recover any money you are owed.
Don’t allow yourself to be exploited. Know your rights. Contact us to speak with one of our NYC employment lawyers. Lichten & Bright, P.C., NYC overtime lawyers: