Is Unpaid Overtime Legal In New York?
For some employees, working overtime is a fact of life. However, very often that overtime goes unpaid, for a variety of reasons. Some employees are exempt from overtime pay, but for the significant percentage who are not, unpaid overtime is wage theft. It is also against the laws of New York. If you suspect that you are owed overtime pay, contacting a knowledgeable attorney can help to clarify matters.
Every Hour Must Be Paid
New York law surrounding overtime pay is fairly straightforward: unless an employee is exempt, they must be paid for every hour they work, and if they work more than 40 hours per week, they must be paid 1 ½ times their regular pay. If you are not an exempt employee, and you have not been paid for every hour you have worked, then you likely have a claim against your employer. However, these claims are difficult to mount on your own, because New York has many different laws governing payment of wages.
The two laws that are most often consulted in these cases are New York State’s Labor Law and the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), and between the two of them, they effectively eliminate many loopholes that employers would formerly use to try and deny employees overtime pay. For example, many employers used to average the number of hours worked in a two-week period, and use that figure to calculate overtime pay (if warranted), rather than simply taking the total from one week.
Who Is Exempt?
State and federal overtime rules are fairly straightforward for those who are affected by them, but some employees are exempt from overtime pay because they take home above a certain threshold per week. The federal limit is $684.00 per week, but New York State’s limit is higher, at $937.50 per week for most areas of the state, $1,050.00 for Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester Counties, and $1,125.00 for New York City. This means that if you, say, make $1,000.00 per week and live in Nassau County, you would still be entitled to overtime pay, but if you live in Rockland County, you would not.
Generally, employees that fall into one of three categories will be exempt from being able to claim overtime pay. Executive, administrative, and “learned professional” positions all usually qualify as exempt – for example, CEOs, insurance claims adjusters, and doctors are examples of all three categories, respectively. However, the categories are not all-encompassing – for example, secretaries are considered administrative workers, but they are generally not exempt from overtime pay.
Contact A New York Employment Law Attorney
Employees who work hard deserve every dollar they earn, and an unscrupulous employer should not be able to deny payment. If you suspect you are owed unpaid overtime or other wages by your employer, contacting a NYC unpaid overtime attorney from Mansell Law, LLC can be the first step toward getting restitution. Call our offices today at 646-921-8900 for a free consultation.