For employers, wage and hour laws can be complex and compliance with the scheme of federal and state laws regulating the payment of wages and overtime can be daunting. But it is critical for employers to understand their responsibilities under the applicable wage and hour laws, as non-compliance with these laws can subject them to litigation which can be extremely costly.
The Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) establishes minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping, and youth employment standards affecting employees in the private sector and in Federal, State, and local governments. The Division of Labor Standards enforces the New York State Labor Laws that define wages, benefits, tips and frequency of payment of wages, benefits and tips.
Employers are required to provide written notice to new employees, no later than 10 days after the date of hire, of certain pay-related information. In addition, notices must be provided at least seven calendar days before a change in the information included on the notice, if the change is not listed on the employee’s pay stub for the next pay period. The employer must also have employees sign a statement acknowledging receipt of the written notice. Notices may be provided electronically if the employer has a system in place allowing employees to acknowledge receipt, and print copies, of the notices. Employers must also provide each employee with a pay statement with every payment of wages.
According to New York Overtime Law, employers must typically pay employees 1.5 times their regular rate of pay for all work over 40 hours in a week. Generally, employees must meet two requirements to be classified as exempt from overtime regulations: (1) They must be paid on a salary basis ($684 per week/$35,578 annually (FLSA); $1125 per week/$58,500 annually (NYC/LI and Westchester)); and (2) They must hold a position that fits in at least one of the following narrow exempt classifications:
This work is predominately intellectual, requires specialized education and involves the exercise of discretion and judgment or is work requiring “advanced knowledge.”
Computer Professional Exemption
Under this exemption, employees exercise independent judgment and who specifically apply system analysis techniques and procedures to determine hardware, software or system functional specifications OR design, develop, or modify computer systems/programs
Outside Sales Exemption
Under this exemption employees make sales in their position, obtain orders or contracts, and are regularly engaged away from employer’s place of business while selling.
Under this exemption employees do office or non-manual work, which is directly related to management or general business operations of the employer or the employer’s customers and a primary component of which involves the exercise of independent judgment and discretion about matters of significance.
Under the executive exemption, an individual must regularly supervise two or more other employees, have management as the primary duty of the position, and have some genuine input into the job status of other employees (such as hiring, firing, promotions, or assignments).
- Employees earn a 30-minute meal break for working at least six hours that span across 11:00am and 2:00pm.
- Employees earn a 45-minute meal break for working over six hours and whose shift starts between 1:00pm and 6:00am.
- Employees earn an additional 20-minute meal break between 5:00pm and 7:00pm, if their workday begins before 11:00am, and ends after 7:00pm.
Travel time may be hours worked under the FLSA if travel is directed by the employer or cuts across a normal workday. Commuting time from home to the place of work and back home again is not compensable. Employees who travel away from home overnight must be paid for their regular work hours on both regular work days and on weekends during their normal working hours, excluding regular meal periods.
Time spent participating in a training program is not compensable if (1) attendance is outside the employee’s regular working hours; (2) attendance is voluntary; (3) the training does not directly relate to the employee’s job; and (4) the employee does no productive work while attending the training.
In order to comply with wage and hour laws, it is imperative for employers to familiarize themselves with current federal and state laws. Employees should also all be trained on what wage and hour rights are and those that are applicable to your industry and workplace.
Should you need any assistance with wage and hour compliance, please contact Ali Law Group.