2017 Update on New York State’s Changing Pay Laws

By Katherine Muniz
February 7, 2017

New York state is leading the charge in mandating state-wide increases to employee pay, and a number of tools have been released to help employees/employers comply. Here’s what you need to know:

NY State Increases the Overtime Threshold

While the federal final rule is still in limbo, the New York Department of Labor successfully (NY DOL) published its final rule for New York state on Dec. 28, 2016, which we announced on our blog. The rule essentially increases the minimum salary that executive and administrative employees in New York must earn in order to be exempt from earning overtime. This is not a one-time increase; increases will occur annually over the next few years (we published the annual salary increases based on geography and business size in our previous blog post), and all employers in New York state are required to comply.

NY DOL Adds Minimum Wage Lookup Tool to their Site

The overtime threshold increases were designed to increase with the annual minimum wage increases that will occur in New York periodically over the next few years. These increases will also differ depending on geography and business size. So to help employees determine whether they are being paid the accurate minimum wage, the Department of Labor has now added a minimum wage lookup tool available on their website. This tool, which is catered to employees, allows any employee to easily determine which minimum wage rate applies to them, based on factors including the date, the location of employment, and tips received. Employers can also use the tool by entering the information relevant to their employees.

NY State Publishes New-Wage Orders

The NY DOL has published a fact sheet detailing the new minimum hourly rates that employers must pay to tipped workers, effective until Dec. 30, 2017. The sheet clarifies how employers can combine cash wages and tip credits to satisfy the minimum wage, and where and when the rates apply.  The NY DOL has also released new wage orders detailing minimum wage rates, tip credits, allowances, and other wage items that have changed for the hospitality industry, and miscellaneous industries and occupations, effective Dec. 31, 2016. As a business owner, it can be difficult to keep up with new legislation.

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