Updated New York worker pay regulations

Wage and hour laws in New York encompass a range of regulations, including provisions for minimum wage, overtime pay and other significant labor standards. New York’s approach to these regulations varies by region and industry.

As of January 1, 2024, the state has three distinct regions for minimum wage pay. While each region has different rates, each is scheduled to increase by $.50 on January 1 of 2025 and 2026.

Minimum wage in New York

Most of the state currently has a minimum wage of $15 per hour. New York City, Long Island, and Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester Counties have a higher minimum wage of $16 per hour. Employers are required to comply with these regional minimum wage standards, ensuring that employees receive at least the minimum hourly wage applicable to their area.

Overtime regulations

Overtime laws in New York mandate that employees who work over 40 hours in a workweek must receive overtime pay at a rate of 1.5 times their regular pay rate. This applies to most employees, with specific exemptions based on job duties and industries, such as executive, administrative and professional roles that meet specific criteria. New York’s overtime regulations are designed to compensate employees fairly for extended work hours and discourage excessively long workweeks.

Required meal breaks

Employees in New York are required to have meal breaks in many circumstances. Typically, workers should receive a 30-minute unpaid meal break if they work at least six hours. Factory workers have a longer meal break of one hour if they work at least six hours in a shift. During the unpaid meal break, the employee must be relieved of all work-related duties. The lunch period must be paid if a worker must remain on duty and consents to working meal periods.

Employees who believe they’re not receiving their due pay or breaks should explore legal avenues to rectify the situation. Doing this quickly is critical so an affected worker can take steps to get the pay they’re due.

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