State and federal laws guarantee New York professionals the right to be paid for all of the hours they have worked. Unfortunately, employers often attempt to violate these laws as a cost-cutting measure.
If your employer is withholding your wages or failing to pay the legally required overtime, taking legal action can protect your right to fair payment. At The Howley Law Firm, our attorneys have extensive experience handling these types of claims on behalf of New York employees in many different industries. Contact us today to learn how we can help.
Key Laws Affecting New York Employees
The federal minimum wage is only $7.25 per hour, but states are free to set higher minimum wages when deemed appropriate. The Minimum Wage Act (Article 19 of the New York State Labor Law) requires that all employees in the state of New York earn at least $11.80 an hour beginning December 31, 2019. In New York City, the minimum wage is $15.00 per hour for all size businesses. In Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester counties, employees must be paid at least $13.00 per hour. There are a few exemptions to minimum wage laws, such as tipped employees, seasonal employees, teenagers, and employees with disabilities that affect the quality of their work. However, minimum wage laws apply to the vast majority of professionals in New York.
Federal law states most employees must receive overtime pay at the rate of 1½ times their regular rate of pay for all hours worked over 40 in a workweek. Employees who are paid a salary instead of an hourly wage are entitled to overtime for hours worked in excess of their standard workweek. Employees are not allowed to waive their right to overtime pay. Double time pay is not required but may be offered at an employer’s discretion.
Examples of Potential Unpaid Wage or Overtime Claims
Claims involving unpaid wages and overtime can take several forms. Common examples include:
- You were not paid for all of the hours you worked.
- You are currently earning less than the minimum wage.
- You are a server, and your manager takes a share of your tips.
- You’re expected to stay late or come in before your scheduled shift to perform tasks without pay.
- You received your regular pay rate instead of time and a half for working more than 40 hours per week.
- Your employer has improperly classified you as a manager to avoid paying overtime.
- Your employer tries to average your hours over two weeks to avoid paying overtime.
- You’re expected to work without rest and meal breaks that are required by law.
- Your rate of pay was lowered without notice.
- You were not provided the vacation pay, holiday pay, or bonuses your employer had previously specified.
- You’ve left a job, but your employer is attempting to withhold your final paycheck.
- Your paycheck bounced due to insufficient funds.
The Howley Law Firm Can Help You Recover Your Full Wages
When you believe your paycheck is incorrect, the first course of action should be to discuss the issue with your employer. There may have been a simple clerical error, or your employer may not fully understand the law.
If your employer is unwilling to resolve the issue to your satisfaction, The Howley Law Firm can help. We are committed to protecting the rights of New York professionals in a variety of industries and have successfully handled claims on behalf of healthcare professionals, office employees, restaurant employees, and construction workers. We pursue claims on behalf of individuals as well as class action claims where an entire group of employees has experienced a form of wage theft.
The Howley Law Firm serves clients throughout New York, including those who live and work in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx, Staten Island, Westchester County, and Nassau County. We accept cases on a contingency fee basis, so there is no upfront expense associated with pursuing payment for your wages and overtime.
To schedule a free and confidential consultation to discuss your case, please complete our contact form or call us at (212) 601-2728. We also encourage you to download our free e-book, Getting Paid: How to Recover Unpaid Wages and Overtime, to learn more about your right to fair compensation.