New York Overtime Laws
When you have to work long hours, the extra money in your paycheck can make it really worth the extra effort. Most employees are entitled to overtime compensation for working more than 40 hours a week.
Understanding when you qualify for overtime can be confusing and there are several common misconceptions about when overtime pay is due. Some people believe they are entitled to overtime pay for working more than eight hours in a day, or more than five days in a week. Some people believe they should receive overtime for working on the weekend. These beliefs aren't exactly accurate. It’s worth more money in your paycheck to become familiar with New York overtime laws.
New York Overtime Law Summary
This chart highlights key provisions of New York overtime laws.
State and Federal Statutes
New York Overtime Rules
Filing a Wage Complaint
Note: State laws are subject to change. It’s important to verify the information you read about by conducting your own research or consulting with a qualified New York employment attorney.
New York Overtime Laws
Employers must follow both state and federal overtime rules. When differences exist between New York and federal overtime rules, an employer must follow the rule that gives the most benefits to the worker.
The State’s overtime requirements are contained in the New York State Minimum Wage Orders. These requirements are in addition to Federal requirements in the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Both state and federal laws require overtime pay when a “non-exempt” employee works more than 40 hours in a workweek. Certain residential or domestic workers = receive overtime pay for hours worked over 44 in a workweek.
Who is an Exempt Employee?
Some jobs are exempt from overtime under the federal FLSA, but can still receive overtime under New York State Labor Law. While these employees must be paid overtime, New York Law requires an overtime rate of 1.5 time the state minimum wage, regardless of the employee’s actual regular rate of pay.
For an employee to be considered exempt from federal overtime laws, their specific job duties and salary must meet all the requirements set by either the U.S. Department of Labor or the New York State Labor Law. State overtime requirements do not cover federal, state and local government employees. It does cover nonprofit organization, and private and charter school non-teaching employees.
The following types of employees are frequently exempt from federal overtime rules:
- Outside Salespeople
- Employees employed as “learned professional” (CPA, lawyer, executive chef)
- Members of Religious Orders
- Camp Counselors
- Taxi Drivers
Counting Your Hours in a Workweek
Employers must calculate the work week as a fixed schedule of a continuous, seven day, 24-hours per day schedule. It does not have to be Sunday to Saturday. It can start on any day of the week and end seven consecutive days later.
Any hours worked beyond 40 in this work week are subject to overtime pay. There are no overtime rules based on working more than 8 hours in a day or more than 5 days a week. Different workweeks may apply to different employees or groups of employees. For example, a retail employer may use a Saturday to Friday workweek for sales staff but a Monday through Sunday schedule for managers.
Common Overtime Violations
Errors in calculating overtime are common. It’s not just employers who are trying to save a buck that fail to pay overtime. Even if your employers misunderstood the rules, you’re entitled to receive back pay. Here are some common ways overtime laws are violated:
- Treating workers as exempt
- Having employees work off the clock or volunteer hours
- Improperly using “comp” time
- Not paying for all the hours worked
- Treating employees as independent contractors
Denied Overtime Pay? Talk to a New York Attorney
State and federal laws provide for an employee’s right to overtime pay. If you're experiencing any overtime issues at work, you have legal options. An experienced New York employment law attorney may be able to help you recover lost wages and any damages caused by a denial of overtime pay.
Next Steps: Search for a Local Attorney
Contact a qualified attorney.