New York Wage and Hour Laws

Created by FindLaw's team of attorney writers and editors.

Wage and hour laws govern wage disputes and other claims that arise in the workplace setting. The laws establish basic requirements and standards, including for minimum wage and overtime pay.

New York Wage and Hour Laws at a Glance

Reading the complete text of a statute can be a good way to familiarize yourself with the law, but you can also refer to a plain language version of the content to gain more understanding. See the chart below for a simple summary of New York's wage and hour laws.

Statutes

New York Consolidated Laws, Labor Law:

Minimum Wage

The current minimum wage varies depending on the size of the employer and location where the employees work. To find out the minimum wage in your area, you can use the New York Labor Department's minimum wage calculator.

New York City:

  • Businesses with 10 or fewer employees: $13.50
  • Businesses with 11 or more employees: $15.00

Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester counties: $12.00

The remainder of the state: $11.10

Overtime

Overtime is based on the hours worked in any given payroll week. Typically, if you work more than 40 hours during the pay week, and you're not "exempt", then you must be paid the overtime rate for all hours over 40. The overtime rules depend on whether you're an employee, a covered employee, or a residential employee.

  • Employees = Overtime Rate
  • Covered Employees = One and one-half times their regular, "straight-time" hourly rate of pay for all hours over 40 in a payroll week.
  • Residential Employees (Live-in workers) = One and one-half times their regular, "straight-time" hourly rate of pay for all hours over 44 in a payroll week.

Leave

Holiday Leave

New York doesn't require private employers to provide employees with either paid or unpaid holiday leave. A private employer can require an employee to work holidays.

Vacation Leave

An employer isn't required to provide employees with vacation benefits, either paid or unpaid.

Sick Leave

Employers aren't required to provide employees with sick leave benefits, either paid or unpaid. If the employer chooses to provide benefits, they must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract.

Meal Break Times

  • Every person employed in/connection with a factory is allowed at least 60 minutes for noon day meal;
  • Every person employed in/connection with a mercantile is allowed at least 30 minutes for noon day meal;
  • Every person employed for a period or shift starting before 11:00 am and continuing later than 7:00 pm is allowed an additional meal period of at least 20 minutes between 5 and 7:00 pm

Severance Pay

New York law doesn't require an employer to provide severance pay to a terminated employee; an employer is only obligated to provide severance if this was contracted or promised. Although it isn't mandated, many New York companies do provide severance pay.

Penalties

Failure to pay minimum wage or overtime compensation:

  • Misdemeanor, punishable by fines up to $20,000 or up to one-year imprisonment.
  • Second/subsequent offense: Felony, punishable by fines up to $20,000 and/or imprisonment for up to one-year plus one day.

Failure to keep records:

  • Misdemeanor, punishable by fines up to $5,000 or up to one-year imprisonment.
  • Second/subsequent offense: Felony, punishable by fines up to $20,000 and/or imprisonment of up to one-year plus one day.

Failure to pay severance pay: This is a misdemeanor if an employer doesn't pay severance when there is a commitment to do so. The employer may be required to pay attorney fees and damages in addition to the severance pay if the employee can show that the nonpayment is willful.

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

New York Wage and Hour Laws: Related Resources

Learn More About New York Wage and Hour Laws From an Attorney

If you're an employee who's concerned about not getting paid what you're owed, then you should talk to a legal professional as soon as possible. Contact an experienced local attorney who understands New York wage and hour laws and can give you valuable legal insight.

Next Steps: Search for a Local Attorney

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