When you work longer hours than usual, making sure that you’re paid correctly is even more important. And if you work more than 40 hours a week, then you may be one of the many employees that qualify for overtime compensation.
There are many misconceptions about overtime pay that make it difficult to understand if you qualify for overtime. There are a lot of common beliefs out there that may or may not be accurate. Thinking that working more than 8 hours in a day, working more than five days in a week, or working on weekends qualifies people for overtime tend to be common, inaccurate beliefs. It pays to know whether or not you are entitled to overtime pay in New York by becoming familiar with the state’s overtime laws.
Summary of New York Overtime Law
The chart below highlights the main details of New York overtime laws.
State overtime pays at a rate of time and a half the minimum wage for the state.
Federal overtime pays at a rate of time and a half the normal rate for the employee.
Employers are not allowed to average more than one weeks’ hours to alter the rates.
Overtime calculations are a result of the total number of hours worked in a week.
You may have the following rights if your employer wrongfully withheld your overtime pay:
Damages as a result of withheld wages
State Civil Penalties no more than $1,000
FLSA Violation Penalty no more than $10,000
Wage Complaint Filing Process
Employee Complaint Form (PW-4)
File a Complaint with the U.S. Dept. of Labor
Note: It is essential to conduct your research or to speak with an attorney qualified in New York wage laws. These laws are subject to change. You need to make sure you verify any information about wage laws.
NYS OT Laws Employers Should Abide By
The New York State Minimum Wage Orders lay out the requirements for the state’s overtime. These are additional requirements along with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Overtime pay covers “non-exempt” employees who work more than 40 hours in a single workweek. State and federal laws require that these employees be paid at the overtime rate for any hours after the 40 worked. In some cases, for instance, residential and domestic workers, overtime pay occurs after 44 hours in a work week.
Employers are required by law to follow state and federal mandates for overtime pay. If there are any differences between the state and the federal laws, the employer must choose the one that provides the best benefit to the worker.
Which Employees Are Exempt from Overtime in New York?
You may still be eligible to receive overtime pay under the New York State Labor Law even if your job is exempt under the federal FLSA. New York Law requires that employees be paid at a rate of time and a half the state minimum wage without regard to the regular pay rate of the employee.
An employee must meet all requirements for salary and duties laid out by the New York State Labor Law or the U.S. Department of Labor if they are to be considered exempt from the federal overtime laws. State overtime laws do not cover local, state, and federal government employees. Also exempt are nonprofit organizations and non-teaching employees from charter and private schools.
Exempt from federal overtime rules are the following categories of employees:
Employers are not allowed to alter weekly schedules. They must treat a workweek as a continuous, seven day calendar week with 24 hour days. There is no mandated start to the workweek; employers can define the beginning and end as they see fit, but it must start and end within seven consecutive days.
Overtime pay covers any hours over 40 worked in a single week. Working more than 8 hours a day or 5 days in a week is not covered by overtime rules. Employees are also allowed to use different workweeks for different groups of employees. A retail employer could use a Monday to Sunday workweek for sales staff, and a Friday to Thursday workweek for managers.
Overtime Violations that Commonly Occur
Overtime calculation errors occur often. And it doesn’t happen only as a result of employers trying to save money by avoiding paying employees for working overtime. Sometimes employers misunderstand overtime laws. Even then, they are still required to compensate you.
Here are a few ways that employees violate overtime hours:
Making employees work “off the clock” or volunteer hours
Using “comp” time incorrectly
Withholding pay for hours worked
Regarding employees as independent contractors
Categorizing workers as exempt
Contact a Lawyer to File an Overtime Claim
Do You Think You Have a Case? Contact Lemberg Law for Counsel
If you feel that an employer has taken advantage of you or someone you care about, please get in touch with the Lemberg Law legal team. Complete our form for a FREE case evaluation, or call 475-277-2200 NOW. You may be entitled to compensation for damages, injuries, or lost wages for Federal and state wage law violations.
Sergei Lemberg is a lawyer whose practice focuses on consumer law, class actions and personal injury litigation. He has been repeatedly recognized as the “most active consumer attorney” in the country. In 2020, Mr. Lemberg represented Noah Duguid in the United States Supreme Court in the case entitled Duguid v. Facebook. He is the author of Defanging Debt Collectors, a book that teaches consumers how to battle debt collectors and win.
My employer categorized my position as a saleried exempt outside sales position, which it was not. I brought this to their attention, they finally fixed it and changed me to an hourly inside sales position, however this was after telling me I would have to accept that position or resign.
The position started 1/2016, and the change was made 8/2017. I did not report it as they implied it was a mistake, but I can see they are still hiring people in this illegal way.
I was told I did not receive overtime and hours were to be reported as no more than 40 hours per week regardless of how many hours were worked. I would say I averaged around 5 hours of overtime per week.
I have a decent amount of documentation and am willing to proceed with a law suit.