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Mansell Law, LLC Experienced Employment Lawyers

New York City Unpaid Minimum Wage Lawyer

Helping to Ensure All Workers Are Paid Properly and Completely

Almost all employees are entitled to be paid the minimum wage. But not all employees, and not all employers, know what the minimum wage actually is. In addition to the federal minimum wage, New York has its own, higher minimum wage, and New York City has a minimum wage higher than that. Additionally, the applicable minimum wage varies according to what industry you are working in. Do you know if you are getting the minimum wage you are entitled to, or is your employer shortchanging you every hour of every day you work? Through individual claims and class action litigation, the NYC unpaid minimum wage lawyers at Mansell Law fight every day to make sure workers in New York City get the wages they are entitled to under the law. Call our office for a free consultation if you think you might be underpaid.

What Is the Minimum Wage in New York City?

The federal minimum wage is currently $7.25 an hour, but individual states are allowed to impose a higher minimum wage, and some do. In New York, the minimum wage is $11.80 an hour as of 2020, and it is scheduled to increase to $12.50 an hour in 2021. In addition, New York City has its own minimum wage. The general minimum wage in NYC is currently $15.00 an hour for both large and small employers.

Minimum Wage for Fast Food Workers

New York also imposes different minimum wages by industry. For instance, fast food industry workers in NYC make at least $15.00 an hour, while those outside the city are guaranteed a minimum wage of $13.75 per hour. The minimum wage for all fast-food workers in New York State will be increasing to $15.00 across the board over the next few years.

Minimum Wage for Tipped Employees

Tipped workers also receive a minimum wage, although it is considerably less than the general minimum wage since wages make up only a portion of tipped workers’ incomes. The federal minimum wage for tipped employees is $4.35. In New York, rates vary by region. Presently, the minimum wage for tipped workers of both large and small employers in New York City is $10.00 an hour. The minimum is somewhat less in Long Island and Westchester and even lower in the rest of the state, although increases are currently scheduled.

The minimum wage is not the whole story for tipped employees, as their employers are allowed to take a “tip credit” by paying them less than the applicable minimum wage. The federal tip credit is currently $2.13, while the tip credit in New York City is $5.00 an hour. Employers often misapply the tip credit, sending their employees’ wages below the minimum wage. If your tips and wages combined don’t add up to at least the applicable minimum wage, your employer is taking too much of a tip credit and should increase your wages, so you are at least making minimum wage.

Does the Minimum Wage Apply to All Employees?

According to the New York Department of Labor, the following workers are not covered by the requirement to receive the minimum wage:

  • Executives and administrators earning more than 75 times the minimum wage rate
  • Professionals
  • Outside salespersons
  • Taxicab drivers
  • Government employees (except for certain non-teaching employees)
  • Part-time babysitters
  • Ministers and members of religious orders
  • Volunteers, learners, apprentices and students working in non-profit institutions
  • Students obtaining vocational experience

This listing above reflects the major exclusions from minimum wage, but it is not a complete list. Always call our office if you are not receiving the minimum wage and are not sure whether you are exempt or not.

Significantly, independent contractors are also not covered by the minimum wage law. However, employees are frequently misclassified as independent contractors, either mistakenly or intentionally to avoid paying the minimum wage.

How Do Employers Violate the Minimum Wage Laws?

The main ways employers underpay their workers are as follows:

  • Paying less than the applicable minimum wage
  • Unpaid wages – not paying for meals and breaks, on-call or waiting time, travel time, forcing employees to work off the clock, etc.
  • Improper deductions that take the pay rate under the applicable minimum wage
  • Misclassifying employees as exempt from the minimum wage
  • Applying the wrong tip credit or operating an illegal tip pool

Our New York Minimum Wage Employment Lawyers Are Here to Help

If you think you are not being paid the correct minimum wage in New York City, call Mansell Law at 646-921-8900 for a free consultation with our experienced New York employment lawyers. You can recover several years of unpaid wages, but after a certain time, those wages are lost and cannot be recovered. So act quickly and call Mansell Law today.

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