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Know your wage and hour rights as an employee

Ensuring the fair and full payment of wages is a priority for all seasons, though the issue has received much needed attention in recent months. Fast-food workers, misclassified workers in the logistics industry, and mistreated immigrant workers have all recently seen their unfair wages become the subject of lawsuits and media scrutiny.

Serrins Fisher LLP represents employees who have been mistreated by their employers. If you believe your employer has stolen wages from you, then please know that state and federal laws are in place to protect you if you choose to hold your employer accountable. With these issues in mind, let's review some basic wage and hour laws that apply in New York.

New York's minimum wage is higher than the federal minimum. Federal law currently requires the minimum wage to be $7.25 per hour. In New York, the minimum wage has been set to increase over the next couple of years. Starting on Dec. 31, 2013, the minimum wage was set at $8.00 per hour.

On Dec. 31, 2014, the minimum wage in New York will increase to $8.75 per hour, and on Dec. 31, 2015, New York's minimum wage will go up to $9.00 per hour.

It is important to know whether you are an exempt or nonexempt employee. Certain exempt employees are not eligible for the minimum wage, but all nonexempt employees are. Nonexempt employees must be paid no less than the minimum wage, and for every hour beyond 40 in a single week, the employee must be paid 150 percent of the established wage.

The New York Department of Labor has more on rules and regulations for specific industries.

For more on protecting your rights as an employee, please visit our Wage & Hour Claims overview.

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