Overtime law in New York, as well as other New York labor laws, is subject to the requirements of the Federal government, outlined in the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). However, when individual state labor laws can provide added benefit to an employee, those laws supersede or augment the standards of the FLSA. There are a few such cases in New York State Labor Laws.
Meal Periods and Breaks for New York Employees
According to New York labor law, non-exempt employees are guaranteed meal breaks of varying times, depending on the industry they work in. Some examples:
Individuals employed in or in connection with a factory are entitled to at least 60 minutes of uninterrupted meal time during what is known as the noonday meal, i.e., the hours between 11 am and 2 pm.
Barring some exceptions, workers in other industries who begin a minimum six-hour shift before 11 am and end their shift at 2pm or later are entitled to 30 minutes of uninterrupted meal time during the noonday meal.
Any shifts beginning before 11 am and continuing after 7 pm are allotted another, 20-minute minimum, meal break between 5 pm and 7 pm.
Employers are not required to compensate these meal times as hours worked. They are, however, required to pay for breaks lasting under 20 minutes during the workday, up to and including overtime pay.
New York Overtime Pay
The FLSA standardizes a workweek as follows: an uninterrupted period of 168 consecutive hours (or, seven consecutive 24-hour periods). A non-exempt employee working over 40 hours in this period is entitled to overtime pay for those hours, compensated at 1.5 times their regular, or straight, pay. A workweek is a single unit of time, and cannot be averaged with other workweeks to arrive at non-overtime hours. In other words, a non-exempt individual who works over 40 hours in one week and less than 40 hours another week is entitled to any and all overtime for the first week, no matter how the two average out.
According to New York overtime law, in-home or residential employees are entitled to overtime when they work over 44 hours in a workweek. There should be records kept of these employees hours and pay rates, or the employer is not abiding by the FLSAs guidelines. This is an extra provision of New York labor law not provided in the FLSA, in which such employees are considered exempt from overtime pay.
Minimum Wage Pay in New York
The New York minimum wage is the same as the Federal minimum wage: $7.25 an hour. Employers may not require that their workers pay for a uniform or the maintenance of said uniform if it will bring the employee below the minimum wage. White shirts and black pants (often required as service industry attire) are generally not covered by this provision.
USOvertimeLawyers.com has more information on New York labor laws, as well as how to contact a New York labor law attorney to claim back wages if you have been denied pay.