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Total Articles: 85

New York State May Be the First to Pass a New Paid Leave Law in 2020

In yesterday’s State of the State, Governor Andrew Cuomo proposed legislation that would require private employers to provide sick leave to their workers. Under his proposal, employers with five to 99 employees would be required to provide at least five days of job-protected paid sick leave per year and employers with 100 or more employees would be required to provide at least 7 days of paid sick leave per year. Small businesses with 4 or fewer employees would be required to provide 5 days of unpaid sick leave.

New York Governor Vetoes Employee Wage Lien Bill

On December 31, 2019, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo vetoed the employee wage lien bill (colloquially referred to by its sponsors and supporters as the “Securing Wages Earned Against Theft” or “SWEAT” bill). Both the New York State Senate and Assembly (S2844B/A486B) passed the bill in June 2019. If enacted into law, the bill would have allowed current and former employees to obtain liens on their employers’ personal and real property for alleged wage and hour violations prior to any judicial determinations on the merits (or lack thereof) of the employees’ claims.

New York Governor Vetoes “Wage Theft” Lien Bill, Promises Replacement

Concluding that it too broadly defined “employer” and raised a myriad of due process concerns that subjected it to risks of unconstitutionality, on December 31, 2019, Governor Andrew Cuomo Governor Cuomo vetoed a bill that would have allowed a current or former employee (or the New York State Department of Labor), alleging “wage theft” by an employer, to place a lien on the employer’s interest in real or personal property for the value of the wage claim plus liquidated damages.

New York State to Eliminate Tip Credit for All But Hospitality Industry Workers

In New York, 2020 will be the last year employers who employ tipped employees in car washes, nail salons, and parking garages, among other establishments, will be permitted to pay such employees a rate below the minimum wage and take a “credit” for tips received by such employees to satisfy the state minimum wage requirements, according to an Order issued on December 31, 2019, by the Commissioner of the New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL).

New York Governor Orders Elimination of the Tip Credit for Employers Subject to the Minimum Wage Order for Miscellaneous Industries and Occupations

For over a year, New York State employers harbored concerns that New York State would enact rules that would eliminate their ability to apply a tip credit towards the wages of employees who earn tips. The reason for this concern was that Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, as part of his 2018 State of the State address, directed the New York State Labor Commissioner to examine the impact of minimum wage tip credits. While it took over a year, the New York State Department of Labor (NYDOL) finally issued its long-awaited report over the New Years’ break and concluded that the tip credit should be eliminated for all employers subject to the provisions of the Minimum Wage Order for Miscellaneous Industries and Occupations.

New York Extends Wage and Hour Liability to Top 10 Members of Non-NY LLCs

New York has amended its Limited Liability Company Law (LLC Law) to hold the top 10 members of a foreign limited liability company liable for wages owed as a result of work performed within New York State, effective February 10, 2020. Previously, the law did not provide that out-of-state LLC members could be liable for wages owed. The amendment (A453) expands LLC Law § 609(c) to expressly hold members of out-of-state LLCs personally liable for “all debts, wages or salaries due and owing” for services performed within the state.

New York’s Highest Court Upholds 13-Hour Rule for Payment of Live-in Home Health Aides

In two recent companion cases, Andryeyeva v. New York Health Care, Inc. and Moreno v. Future Care Health Services, Inc., the New York Court of Appeals upheld the New York State Department of Labor’s (NYSDOL) 13-hour rule for the payment of home health aides working 24-hour shifts. Under this rule, an employer may pay home health aides for only 13 hours of a 24-hour shift if the aides receive at least 3 hours of meal break time and at least 8 hours of sleep (at least 5 of which must be uninterrupted).

Share New York State’s Minimum Wage, Tip Credits and Salary Thresholds Will Increase on December 31, 2018

Effective December 31, 2018, the salary basis thresholds for some executive and administrative exempt employees, the minimum wage rate, and the permitted tip credits and uniform maintenance pay, among other things, will increase. The six tables below set forth a summary of key increases.

New Year’s Ball May Be Dropping, But New York Wage Rates Are Not: A Preview of Upcoming Changes

Two years ago, the New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL) issued final regulations implementing changes resulting from increases to the minimum wage.

New York City Enacts Mandatory Minimum Wage for App-Hail Drivers

Executive Summary: On December 4, 2018, the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) adopted rules mandating a minimum wage for app-hailed drivers. According to the TLC, approximately 80,000 affected drivers stand to earn an average of $10,000 more per year. FordHarrison recently wrote about the New York City Council’s (“the Council”) adoption of a suite of regulations targeting the app-hail industry:

New York City Sets Nation’s First-Ever Gig Economy Minimum Wage

We’ve been expecting this since August, when the New York City Council passed a proposal establishing that ride-sharing driver should earn a minimum rate of pay, the first such minimum wage in the nation. Today, the other shoe dropped and the minimum wage was set.

New Suffolk County, NY, Bill Bans Inquiry into Salary History

Joining New York City, Albany County, and Westchester County, Suffolk County has become the latest jurisdiction in New York to pass a bill that prevents employers from inquiring into the salary and benefits history of job applicants.

New York Court Nullifies Recent Emergency Amendment Codifying Longstanding "13-Hour Rule" for Home Care Industry

The home health care industry suffered a major setback on September 26, 2018, when the New York Supreme Court, New York County, ruled that the New York State Department of Labor's (NYDOL) emergency rulemaking amendment to the “13-hour rule” was “null, void and invalid.” The amendment had codified the NYDOL's longstanding interpretation that home care workers only had to be paid 13 hours of a 24-hour live-in shift, as long as they received the required sleep and meal periods.

New York City Considering Mandatory Minimum Wage for App-Hail Drivers

Executive Summary: The introduction of ride-hailing apps has upended the taxi and for-hire car industry in New York City. What began with a promise of independence and wealth for drivers has actually pushed more into dire financial straits, as competition has increased. Now, following a string of driver suicides, New York City’s Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) is considering imposing minimum wage requirements on certain app-hailing services like Uber and Lyft.

New York City's Temporary Schedule Change Law: Overview, Obligations, and Implementation

New York City's temporary schedule change law (Introduction 1399-2016) goes into effect on July 18, 2018 and covers, with limited exception, all employees working 80 hours or more per calendar year in New York City. Under the law, covered employees who have worked for an employer for at least 120 days may request two temporary schedule changes per year for qualifying personal events.

Have You Properly Prepared for a WPA Audit?

Executive Summary. Audits of compliance with the Wage Parity Act ("WPA") are on the rise. The NYS Attorney General's Medicaid Fraud Unit, Medicaid Inspector General ("OMIG"), and Department of Labor ("DOL") are all auditing home care agencies. Unless you know what will be asked, you are at a serious disadvantage. Unless you know how to prove your compliance with the WPA to an auditor, you are also at a serious disadvantage.

Key Portion Of NYC’s Fair Workweek Law Put On Pause

One of the key provisions of New York City’s Fair Workweek Law was just put on hold while a federal judge sorts out a constitutional challenge brought by two restaurant advocacy organizations. The “Deductions Law” portion of the new city statute allows certain employees of fast food establishments to authorize a portion of their wages to be paid to registered and approved not-for-profit organizations, and also directs fast food establishments to deduct, collect, and remit those employee wages to the designated organizations. However, thanks to a lawsuit brought by the Restaurant Law Center and the National Restaurant Association, enforcement of the Deductions Law has been put on pause, and could be permanently scrapped if found unconstitutional.

New York City Employers May Soon Need To Allow Employees Limited Schedule Flexibility

The New York City Council passed a bill allowing employees to make temporary schedule changes to attend to a “personal event.”

New York Rings in New Year with Wage & Hour Presents: A Preview of Upcoming Changes

While the federal minimum wage for non-exempt employees has remained unchanged at $7.25 per hour since 2009, and the federal salary level for exempt employees has been stymied in litigation and rulemaking since 2014, New York State has forged ahead on the wage and hour front for 2018. The state has increased the minimum wage for non-exempt employees and the salary level for exempt employees, modified tip credit amounts available to tipped employees, and imposed other changes to wage credits.

New Year, New Pay: A State-by-State Roundup of Minimum Wage Increases for 2018

In 2018, the federal minimum wage will remain at $7.25 per hour for non-tipped employees and $2.13 per hour for tipped employees.

Employees Called In "Last Minute" Soon to Be Guaranteed Pay in New York

Many employers in the retail and service industries frequently need to call in employees at the last minute based upon an unexpected surge of consumers visiting the business. However, it is also common practice for employers in these industries to shorten “call-in” shifts just hours before or after an employee starts — and, in many cases, to cancel them. The New York State Department of Labor has proposed new regulations that will require employers to pay employees who are called in or whose schedules are not set in advance, referring to this guarantee as “call in pay,” “on call scheduling,” or “just in time” pay.

NY DOL to Soon Issue Explanatory Statement on Recent Wage Order Amendment

As we recently reported, on October 6, 2017, the New York State Department of Labor (“NYDOL”) issued an amendment to its Minimum Wage Order for Miscellaneous Industries and Occupations regulation to clarify that bona fide meal periods and sleep times may be excluded from hours worked by home care aides who work a shift of 24 hours or more in accordance with federal Fair Labor Standards Act regulations.

Future of Direct Deposit and Payroll Debit Card Regulations in Question

New York State employers waiting for definitive regulations clarifying and specifying acceptable ways to pay employees will remain in the dark for a little while longer — the New York State Department of Labor (DOL) has filed an appeal in hopes of resurrecting regulations regarding debit card and direct deposit payments to employees. These regulations would have gone into effect this past March, but were blocked by the New York State Industrial Board of Appeals (IBA) in February.

New York State Appellate Court Finds 24-Hour Non-Residential Home Care Attendants Must be Paid for Sleep and Meal Periods

As Littler reported in March of 2015,1 a New York Supreme Court, Kings County Justice found that sleep and meal periods must not be excluded from the hourly wages of a home attendant who does not reside in the home of his or her client, and certified a class of over 1,000 home care attendants who worked 24-hour shifts. The decision in that case, Andryeyeva v. New York Home Attendant Agency,2 is on appeal to the Appellate Division, Second Department. Littler filed an amicus curiae brief in support of the employer in that case. Oral argument was held on January 9, 2017, and the parties are anxiously awaiting a decision.

24-Hour Home Care Workers Must Be Paid For All 24 Hours (Appellate Division, First Department, New York Supreme Court)

Executive Summary. Tuesday, April 11, 2017, the First Department, Appellate Division of the NYS Supreme Court held that 24-hour case home care workers must be paid for all 24 hours if they are “nonresidential,” that is, they do not exclusively reside in the patient’s home. Tokhtaman v. Human Care, LLC (2017 NY Slip Op 02759). This is the first time an appellate-level court in New York has ruled this way. The First Department covers New York (i.e., Manhattan) and Bronx counties. A case dealing with the same issue, Andryeyeva v. New York Health Care, Inc. (Index No. 14309/2011 (Queens Cty.)) is currently on appeal in the Second Department, Appellate Division. The Second Department covers the counties of Richmond, Kings, Queens, Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester, Dutchess, Orange, Rockland, and Putnam. Oral argument in that case was held in January of this year. Whatever the outcome, the NY Court of Appeals may ultimately be asked to rule on this issue.

New York State Industrial Board of Appeals Revokes Regulations on Methods of Wage Payments Set to Take Effect on March 7

On February 16, 2017, the New York State Industrial Board of Appeals (IBA) issued a Resolution of Decision invalidating and revoking the regulations regarding methods of payment of wages. The IBA decided that the regulations exceeded the Commissioner of Labor’s rulemaking authority by seeking to regulate and place restrictions on financial institutions and banking services. A copy of the decision can be found on the IBA’s Board Decisions page.

New York State Regulations Governing Payroll Debit Cards (Scheduled to Become Effective March 7) Held Invalid and Revoked

The NYSDOL issued final regulations in September 2016, significantly restricting the use of payroll debit cards and imposing disclosure and consent requirements for direct deposit.

New York State Industrial Board of Appeals Invalidates New Regulation Governing Payment of Wages by Direct Deposit or Debit Card

On February 16, 2017, the New York State Industrial Board of Appeals (“IBA”) issued an order revoking changes to New York State’s regulation governing employers that pay their employees by direct deposit or debit card. This regulation was scheduled to take effect on March 7, 2017. The IBA is an independent review agency with the primary duty of reviewing the validity and reasonableness of certain rules, regulations or orders issued by the New York Commissioner of Labor. A summary of the invalidated regulation and the IBA proceeding follows.

NYSDOL Adopts Regulations Implementing State Law Limiting Employer’s Right to Restrict Employee Discussion Regarding Wages

In October 2015, New York amended its equal pay law making it unlawful for an employer to prohibit employees from inquiring about, discussing, or disclosing their wages or the wages of other employees. N.Y. Lab. Law § 194(4).

Governor Cuomo Creates Unit To Enforce Increasing New York Minimum Wage

To ring in the New Year, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the creation of a 200-member multi-agency Minimum Wage Enforcement and Outreach Unit on January 2, 2017. The Unit’s goal is to ensure that all minimum wage workers in the state of New York are paid the proper rate. Here’s what in employers in New York need to know about this development.

Major Changes to New York Overtime and Minimum Wage Regulations to Take Effect on December 31, 2016

Executive Summary: As of December 31, 2016, employers wishing to claim an administrative or executive exemption to New York State’s overtime regulations must raise each exempt employee’s salary threshold to $727.50-$825.00 per week, depending on the employer’s location in the state. Additionally, on December 31, 2016, the first of several New York minimum wage increases will take effect.

New York State Has Adopted Amendments to Existing Minimum Wage Orders

The New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL) has adopted the proposed amendments to its Wage Orders – ending weeks of speculation about whether and when increases in the minimum salaries for employees to be exempt from overtime will come into force.1 This article summarizes the changes, which will take effect on December 31, 2016.

Salary Thresholds in New York Rise Effective Dec. 31, 2016

Earlier this month we notified you that a U.S. District Judge in the Eastern District of Texas issued a preliminary injunction blocking the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) final overtime rule just days before it was scheduled to go into effect. While the outlook of the exemption levels at the federal level remain uncertain, New York State has raised the exemption levels on its own, effective December 31, 2016.

New York Issues Final Minimum Wage Regulations and Related FAQs

The New York State Department of Labor has adopted regulations implementing increases to the state minimum wage, identified required salary levels for exclusions from overtime pay for executive and administrative employees, and issued Frequently Asked Questions for employers.

New York Employers Still Face Year-End Increase For “White Collar Exemption” Salary Threshold

Lost in the shuffle surrounding the United States Department of Labor’s (USDOL) proposed (but stalled) increases to the salary threshold for the “white collar exemptions” under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) was the New York State Department of Labor’s (NYSDOL) proposed increases to the salary threshold for administrative and executive employees under the New York Labor Law (NYLL).

New York City Agencies Are Prohibited From Making Pay History Inquiries – At Least For Now

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio is engaged in a flurry of pre-election actions.1 Most recently, he signed Executive Order 21, which prohibits New York City agencies from asking prospective employees about their salary history before making an offer of employment. The order will take effect on December 4, 2016. It is aimed at bridging the wage gap for women and people of color, groups who are often paid less than white males for substantially similar work. The Order prohibits inquiries about a job applicant’s prior wages, salaries, benefits, or other compensation. A prospective employer may only make inquiries about previous salaries after the employer has extended the applicant a job offer with pay information.

Freelancers in New York City Get Wage Protections

A written contract, payment within 30 days, and statutory damages for non-payment of wages are among the provisions of New York City’s new freelancer protection law signed by Mayor Bill de Blasio on November 16, 2016. The law will become effective on May 15, 2017 (180 calendar days after signing), and will apply to contracts entered into after the effective date.

New York City Ramps Up Efforts to Enforce the Prevailing Wage Requirement of Its 421-a Affordable Housing Tax Exemption

Executive Summary: Owners of 421-a tax exempt buildings and developments should practice extreme caution when considering responding (or failing to respond) to the recent notices (Notices) sent by the City of New York Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), New York State Office of Attorney General (NYSOGA) and the New York City Comptroller’s Office (Comptroller) concerning prevailing wage compliance. These Notices signal the start of an aggressive enforcement effort of the prevailing wage requirement that accompanies the 421-a exemption.

Why NY's New Pay Equity Law May Be a Game-Changer

I remember the lawyer, half a generation older than I, describing how, as a recent law school graduate she struggled even to get an interview for a job as a lawyer. When an offer came, she eagerly accepted, even though the firm's senior partner told her that, "of course" she would be paid less than the male associates, because she was married and they "had families to support."

New York State Department of Labor to Update Existing Minimum Wage Orders

As New York employers prepare for the December 1, 2016, implementation of the revised Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) overtime regulations, they should be aware of proposed regulations by the New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL) relating to the New York State Labor Law. On October 19, 2016, the NYSDOL submitted a proposal to amend various provisions of the existing minimum wage orders. Notably, under the proposal, the salary levels for some executive and administrative exempt employees would likely exceed the FLSA levels starting in 2018. In addition, the proposed amendments would significantly alter the permitted tip credits for New York hospitality employers (i.e., restaurants and hotels).

Wage Protections for Freelancers, Paid Sick Leave for Domestic Violence on New York City Council Agenda

The New York City Council continues its pro-worker efforts. The latest include proposed legislation (i) providing protections against non-payment of wages for freelance workers and (ii) expanding the list of permitted reasons for using statutory sick time to include reasons related to victims of domestic violence. Mayor Bill de Blasio supports both proposals.

Proposed Amendment to New York State Wage Orders Set To Substantially Raise Salary Requirements For Exempt Employees

On October 19, 2016, the New York State Department of Labor (“NYSDOL”) published proposed new Wage Orders which, if enacted, will ultimately increase the salary requirements for exempt employees in New York State beyond even the increases under the Fair Labor Standards Act slated to go into effect on December 1, 2016. This could have significant implications for employers in New York.

NYC Passes Wage Theft Protections For Freelancers; Sharing Economy Employers Take Notice

On October 27, 2016, the New York City Council passed the Freelance Isn’t Free Act, the nation’s first wage theft protections for independent contractors. The Act creates harsh penalties for employers who delay or deny payments to freelancers and sets a strict time limit in which freelancers must be paid for their services.

New York State Department of Labor Adopts Direct Deposit and Payroll Debit Card Regulations

A regulation that clarifies and specifies the acceptable methods by which employers in New York State may pay wages to certain employees will take effect on March 7, 2017. The regulation, adopted by the state's Department of Labor earlier this fall and codified at section 192 of the New York Labor Law, covers the traditional methods of payment of wages by cash and check, but also sets forth the procedures employers must follow when paying wages by direct deposit or payroll debit card. According to the new regulation, all employees who work in New York State are covered, other than persons employed in a bona fide executive, administrative, or professional capacity earning over $900 per week, or employees working on a farm not connected with a factory.

New Regulation Restricts New York Employers Seeking to Pay Wages by Direct Deposit, Payroll Debit Cards

The New York Department of Labor has adopted a regulation that reiterates an employer generally must obtain written consent to pay wages by direct deposit of wages and clarifies the legality of paying wages with payroll debit cards.

New York Implements Regulation Strongly Favoring Payment of Wages by Check and Discouraging Payment by Direct Deposit and Debit Card

On September 7, 2016, the New York State Department of Labor (“NYDOL”) adopted a final regulation setting the conditions by which employers in New York State can pay wages by direct deposit or by debit card. This regulation is effective March 7, 2017, and adopts most of the provisions that the NYDOL initially proposed on June 5, 2016. The regulation magnifies the scope of New York Labor Law section 192, which prohibits employers from directly depositing the net wages or salary of most employees in a bank or other financial institution without first obtaining the employee’s prior written consent.

Proposed Rule Would Radically Alter Use of Direct Deposit and Paycards in New York

On June 15, 2016, the New York State Department of Labor (“NYSDOL”) published a proposed rule governing the permissible methods for an employer in New York to pay wages to employees. The most radical change is that all current consents for direct deposit will be invalid and every employee that accepts payment by direct deposit will have to reauthorize its use. New York employers only have until July 15, 2016, to submit proposed comments.

Minimum Wage Increases in New York: What Employers Should Know

On April 4, 2016, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo executed sweeping legislation as part of the 2016-17 state budget, implementing a complicated and staggered set of minimum wage increases, and creating a system of paid family leave benefits.1 This Insight describes the schedule and details of the minimum wage increases to be implemented commencing December 31, 2016, and continuing each year until 2021.

New York Budget Deal Will Bring $15 Minimum Wage and Broad Paid Leave Legislation

On April 4, 2016, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation to phase in an increased minimum wage and guarantee paid family leave to all eligible employees throughout New York State. The legislation was part of the 2016-2017 Executive Budget and represents a significant shift in New York’s employment laws. The increased minimum wage will begin rising as of December 31, 2016, and the paid family leave law will become effective on January 1, 2018.

Minimum Wage Changes to New York’s Fast Food Industry: New Hospitality Wage Order & FAQs

As we previously discussed in May and July of this year, wage and hour requirements for the fast food industry in New York State are changing starting in the new year. These changes, which go into effect on December 31, 2015, result from recommendations made by the Fast Food Wage Board, which Governor Andrew Cuomo instructed Acting State Labor Commissioner Mario J. Musolino to empanel in May of 2015. The Wage Board announced its recommendations in July, and Acting Commissioner Musolino accepted those recommendations in September of 2015.

NYSDOL Issues Guidance on Fast Food Wage Order and Increased State Cash Minimum Wage For Hospitality Workers

The New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL) recently posted answers to Frequently Asked Questions related to the new Fast Food Wage Order and increased state minimum wage for hospitality workers, both of which take effect on December 31, 2015. As previously covered here, the state minimum wage in New York will increase to $9.00 for all hospitality-based employees not covered by the Fast Food Wage Order. The maximum tip credit available for such workers will be reduced to $1.50, from the current amount of $3.75, requiring a minimum cash wage of $7.50. Of note, the Fast Food Wage Order FAQ clarifies the NYSDOL’s view that no tip credit is available for employees covered by the Order, including delivery employees.

Industrial Board of Appeals Hears Arguments Regarding New York Fast Food Wage Order

Last week, the New York Industrial Board of Appeals (an arm of the New York Department of Labor) heard oral argument on the National Restaurant Association’s petition to invalidate the Department of Labor’s recent Fast Food Wage Order. If implemented, the Wage Order, which is scheduled to take effect on December 31, 2015, would increase the minimum wage for “fast food employees” in covered “fast food establishments” on a phase-in schedule culminating in a minimum wage rate of $15/hour by December 31, 2018 in New York City and by July 1, 2021 in the balance of the state.

New York’s Wage Deduction Law in Effect for Three More Years

On October 26, 2015, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed State Assembly bill A07594, extending the expiration period of 2012 amendments to New York Labor Law §193, which had permitted employers to make deductions from employee wages in circumstances otherwise deemed impermissible by the New York State Department of Labor. Under this bill, the expiration period is extended from three years after the date that the amendments went into effect, which would be November 6, 2015, to six years after the effective date of the amendments, which is November 6, 2018. As a result, section 193 will stay in effect until November 6, 2018, permitting employer to continue to make deductions from wages in a broader range of circumstances.

New York Law Permitting Deductions from Wages for Overpayments and Advances Will Expire on November 6, 2015

On November 6, 2015, amendments to the New York Labor Law (NYLL) that expanded permitted deductions from wages for overpayments and advances against wages, among other items, will expire.

New York State Department of Labor Publishes Revised Proposed Regulations Governing Use of Payroll Debit Cards

On October 28, 2015, the New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL) published revised proposed regulations modifying its draft regulations (which were initially published on May 27, 2015) governing permissible methods of wage payment, including the use of payroll debit cards (also referred to as paycards).

New York Substantially Increases Employer Obligations Related To Fair Pay, Pay Transparency

Following the trend set by the Pay Transparency Executive Order 13665 and Governor Jerry Brown’s signing of the California Fair Pay Act, this week New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo (D) signed a series of bills aimed at significantly strengthening fair pay, “pay transparency” and other legal protections available in the workplace.

New York "Supersizes" the Minimum Wage for Certain Fast Food Employees

On September 10, 2015, the New York Department of Labor issued an order increasing the minimum wage for fast food employees at certain fast food chain restaurants in New York State to $15 per hour.1 This increase fixes the fast food minimum wage at more than double the federal minimum wage of $7.25, and 60% beyond the New York State minimum wage, which is currently $8.75 per hour and scheduled to increase to $9 per hour on December 31, 2015. This new fast food minimum wage will be phased in over several years, reaching $15 for New York City restaurants by December 31, 2018 and for restaurants in the entire state by July 1, 2021.3

24-Hour Shift Cases: Now Far Too Costly To Service?

Executive Summary. Last week, a Manhattan Supreme Court Justice denied a motion to dismiss a class action lawsuit against Chinese–American Planning Council Home Attendant Program, Inc., brought for unpaid wages, overtime, and failing to pay workers properly under the Wage Parity Act, among other alleged violations. That alone is not newsworthy. What is newsworthy is the court's statement that "(a)rguably, 12 NYCRR 142-3.1(b) ( a NYS Department of Labor Wage Order) indicates that an employee who works a 24-hour shift is entitled to 24 hours pay …." Decisions from justices in both the Manhattan and Brooklyn Supreme Courts have now reached this same conclusion, which is very troublesome for agencies continuing to service these cases.

NY Commissioner of Labor Adopts Fast Food Wage Board Report

Today, Acting Commissioner of Labor Mario Musolino adopted the Fast Food Wage Board’s July recommendations, in an Order available here. The Order takes effect within thirty days of its publication in ten New York newspapers. Employers covered – or arguably covered – by the definition of “Fast Food Establishment” contained in the Wage Board’s recommendations must prepare for the “phased in” increases to the minimum wage called for by the Order.

The Confusing Array of Wage Hour Developments Impacting New York State Employers’ Wage and Hour Compliance

In prior posts, we have summarized the New York State Department of Labor’s most recent rulemaking processes, comprised of two separate wage boards. The first, in 2014, addressed the hospitality industry as a whole, while more recently, in 2015, another highly publicized wage board addressed the subset of that industry deemed “fast food.” Employers should be aware of the cascade of new rules flowing and likely continuing to flow from these wage boards. “Wage Boards” are authorized to make recommendations to the Commissioner of Labor regarding changes in regulations, which the Commissioner can either accept or reject.

New York Wage Board Recommends Minimum Wage of $15 per Hour for Fast Food Workers

As we previously reported, New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo recently appointed a Wage Board to make recommendations on increasing the minimum wage for New York State fast food employees. Throughout the recent public meeting process, fast food employers have roundly criticized any proposed minimum wage increase focused solely on one industry as unfair. Nonetheless, on July 22, 2015, the New York State Department of Labor’s Fast Food Wage Board announced their widely-expected recommendation to increase the minimum wage in the fast food industry up to $15.00 per hour. At a press conference, the Wage Board’s three members justified their recommendation by finding that the wages of fast food workers were insufficient to provide for the maintenance, health, and lifestyle of such workers.

New York Bill Follows California’s Lead to Recognize Professional Cheerleaders as Employees

It’s official—professional cheerleaders are now recognized as employees under California law. On July 15, 2015, California Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill that requires all California-based professional sports teams to pay their cheerleaders the minimum wage. As employees, cheerleaders in California will also be eligible for overtime, workers’ compensation, paid sick leave, and other benefits.

New York’s Fast Food Wage Board Confirms: $15/Hour

In a televised meeting this afternoon, New York’s recently-convened Fast Food Wage Board confirmed industry employers’ fears and announced its unanimous recommendation that the wage for “fast food employees” in “fast food establishments” be increased to $15/hour by December 31, 2018 in New York City and by July 1, 2021 in the rest of New York State. Prior to issuing their recommendations, the Wage Board elicited testimony from James Brown of the NY Department of Labor’s Division of Statistics regarding the cost of living in New York and the insufficiency of average wages in the industry.

New York DOL Proposing Rules Addressing Payment of Wages With Payroll Debit Card

Several states have limited or regulated employers’ use of debit cards for payment of wages in response to concerns raised by employees and advocacy groups. Most recently, the New York State Department of Labor has published proposed rules addressing the payment of wages by payroll debit cards. If an employer intends to pay an employee using a payroll debit card, the employer must comply with the following requirements:

Governor Cuomo Seeks to Increase New York Minimum Wage for Fast Food Workers

On May 7, 2015, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced the empanelling of a New York State Wage Board directed to investigate and make recommendations on increasing the minimum wage in the fast food industry. Both Governor Cuomo and Acting New York Commissioner of Labor Mario J. Musolino have stated that the wages of fast food workers are insufficient to provide for the life and health of those workers. In New York, when an appointed wage board finds that the wages of a particular industry or classification are inadequate, the board may suggest changes to the minimum wage law of that industry or classification. Notably, any wage board recommendation does not require legislative approval to be enacted.

NY AG Calls Out Use of On-Call Shifts in Retail Industry

On April 10, 2015, the New York State Office of the Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman sent letters to 13 major national retailers, requesting detailed information concerning the companies’ New York staffing and scheduling policies and practices.

The Tip Credit: Won't Be What It Is Now for New York Employers

Executive Summary: On February 24, 2015, the Commissioner of Labor accepted the recommendation of the New York State Department of Labor's (NYSDOL) Wage Board (the "Wage Board") for a 50 percent increase in the minimum hourly rate for tipped workers, from $5.00 to $7.50 an hour. As discussed in our February 4, 2015 Alert, The Diminishing Tip Credit: Another Reason it is becoming Harder to Comply with Wage & Hour Laws in New York, the increase takes effect December 31, 2015.

New York Attorney General Proposes Regulation of Payroll Cards

Following his office’s 2013 investigation into payroll cards and release of a report on the issue in 2014, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman recently sent legislation regarding the use of payroll cards by employers to pay employees to the State Legislature for consideration and action.

The Diminishing Tip Credit: Another Reason it is becoming Harder to Comply with Wage & Hour Laws in New York

Executive Summary: On January 30, 2015, the New York State Department of Labor's ("NYSDOL") Wage Board (the "Wage Board") voted to recommend a fifty percent increase in the minimum hourly rate for tipped workers, from $5.00 to $7.50 an hour.

Amendments to New York's Wage Theft Prevention Act: A Double-Edged Sword for Employers

Executive Summary: On December 29, 2014, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill into law that amends the New York Wage Theft Prevention Act (the "Act"). While the amendments relieve New York employers from some administrative burdens, that is where the good news ends for employers.

Amendment to New York Wage Theft Prevention Act Removes Annual Notice Requirement

New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law legislation to repeal the notice provision of the Wage Theft Prevention Act of 2010. Effective January 2, 2015, the law (Chapter 537) removes the notice requirement that, under the previous act, required employers annually to provide employees with a written notice regarding wage information.

New York City Expands Living Wage Law For City Contractors

On September 30, 2014, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio signed Executive Order No. 7, “Living Wage For City Economic Development Projects,” which raises the city’s “living wage” (i.e., minimum wage) for certain employers that contract with the city or that receive government subsidies. The executive order also covers more employers than the existing New York City law.

New York State Raises Minimum Wage

New York State has raised the hourly minimum wage of most employees effective December 31, 2013 from $7.25 to $8.00. Additional increases are coming on December 31, 2014, and again on December 31, 2015. An important provision is that, if at any time federal law establishes a higher minimum wage, the state minimum wage will be increased to match the federal.

Reminder: New York Wage Theft Prevention Act Requires Annual Notices to All Employees Between January 1, 2014 and February 1, 2014

The New York Wage Theft Prevention Act requires employers to provide annual wage notices to all employees no later than February 1, 2014. The notice must include the following...

New Year in New York State Means a New Minimum Wage

Effective December 31, 2013, the minimum wage in New York State will increase from $7.25 per hour to $8.00 per hour. The overtime rate of pay for hourly, non-tipped employees earning the minimum wage will increase to $12.00 per hour. Employers should change their payroll systems prior to January 1, 2014.

New York Partners with the U.S. Department of Labor to Combat Worker Misclassification

On November 18, 2013, New York State announced that it is teaming with the U.S. Department of Labor (U.S. DOL) to protect employees against misclassification as independent contractors or other nonemployee statuses. Officials for the U.S. DOL, the New York State Department of Labor (N.Y. DOL), and New York State Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman signed memoranda of understanding that will allow the three agencies to collaborate in efforts to prevent worker misclassification under federal and state laws.

New York State Department of Labor Guidelines for Permissible Wage Deductions Are Effective October 9, 2013

The New York State Department of Labor recently issued proposed regulations providing further guidance about the permissible scope of wage deductions. The amended statute, N.Y. Labor Law §193, became effective in November 2012, as we covered previously in August 2012 and September 2012. Now, after much delay, the corresponding regulations take effect on October 9, 2013.

New York State Court Strikes Down Prevailing Wage Law for New York City Contractors

Mayor of the City of New York v. New York City Council, No. 451369/2012 (N.Y. Sup. Ct., N.Y. Cty. Aug. 5, 2013): In a decision that pitted the Bloomberg administration against the New York City Council, a New York state court struck down the prevailing wage bill that was passed by the City Council last year. The legislation would have raised wages for janitors, security guards, and other building service workers in structures that received substantial government subsidies or where the city was a major tenant. Specifically, the law would have required a wage of $10 an hour with benefits or $11.50 an hour without benefits; the current state minimum wage is $7.25 an hour, set to rise to $8.00 after December 31, 2013. However, the court ruled that the prevailing wage law was invalid because it was preempted by the state minimum wage law.

Amendments to Wage Payment Law to Take Effect on November 8

Governor Cuomo signed into law amendments to Article 193 of the New York Wage Deduction Law which will permit employers to take additional lawful deductions from employees’ paychecks. The law will take effect on November 8, 2012.

Governor Cuomo Signs Law Loosening Strict Interpretation of Unlawful Deductions from Wages

On September 8, 2012, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a much-anticipated law that amends New York Labor Law § 193 by expanding the scope of permissible deductions from an employee’s wages. The new law, which will take effect on November 7, 2012, and is subject to renewal in three years, benefits both employers and employees by allowing employers to deduct from an employee’s wages for the employee’s preauthorized personal activities (such as gym memberships). The new law also permits employers to recapture overpayments of the employee’s wages as well as repayments for loans or advancements the employer made to such employee.

Notice Deadline Looming Under NY Wage Theft Protection Act

Employers with operations and employees in New York State should by now be aware that the first notice to all employees regarding their pay status, required by the N.Y. Wage Theft Prevention Act (WTPA), must be given by January 31, 2012, and annually from now on. If you have not given these notices by now, you should have plans to do so before the end of the month. Fisher & Phillips described the requirements imposed by the WTPA in an Alert that was distributed in April 2011.

New York Wage Theft Prevention Act Now In Effect

The New York Wage Theft Prevention Act (WTPA), signed into law last December, became effective April 9. The new law imposes on New York employers a variety of more stringent pay notice requirements and increases penalties for violations of wage payment as well as notice and recordkeeping violations. All New York employers will need to ensure that their practices are in compliance.

Forms Released Under NY Wage Theft Prevention Act

On April 1, 2011, eight days before the April 9, 2011 effective date of the New York Wage Theft Prevention Act (WTPA), the New York State Department of Labor (NYDOL) issued long-awaited forms that employers may use to satisfy the enhanced notice requirements that apply to all private employers in New York.

New York Employers Should Act Now to Comply with Requirements of New Wage Theft Prevention Act

On December 13, 2010, Governor David Paterson signed into law the New York Wage Theft Prevention Act, which imposes significant new notice and disclosure requirements on all New York employers. Businesses with operations in New York should begin modifying their payroll practices now to ensure that, as of the April 12, 2011 effective date, they are in compliance with the following requirements:

Commission Rights Clarified Under New York Law.

Pachter v. Bernard Hodes Group, Inc., __ N.Y.3d __, __ N.Y.S. 2d __ (2008) — On June 10, 2008, New York’s highest court addressed the important issue of when a sales commission is “earned,” and thus not subject to deductions for expenses by an employer under the state’s wage and hour laws. The Court held that, in the absence of an agreement to the contrary, commissions are earned when a salesperson “produces a person ready and willing to enter a contract upon his [or her] employer’s terms.”
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