Employment in New York

New York State’s employment laws allow for exceptions to certain universal elements such as minimum wage, overtime, hours worked, and breaks and vacations. Those who are hoping for employment in New York should review the state laws that apply to the job.

Variable Wages for Employment in New York

While the minimum wage in New York State is $7.15 per hour, it does not apply to all workers in New York. People who work in food service, such as waiters, busboys, and bartenders, may have a minimum wage of $4.60 per hour if their tips exceed $2.55 per hour. Janitors who work in residential building also are not exactly entitled to minimum wage. Instead, they receive payment per unit. The minimum payment per unit is $4.80, and the amount on the payroll for a “per unit” worker must average out to at least minimum wage. Employers are required to post the guidelines of the minimum wage law somewhere in the workplace.

Earning Overtime Wages

Overtime is essentially time and a half of the regular wage. Overtime is provided to those with employment in New York when an employee works over 40 hours in one payroll week. Workers who have live-in jobs can expect to earn overtime when they've worked over 44 hours in a payroll week. Some professions are excluded from overtime, such as jobs where the pay is salaried, rather than hourly.

Laws Regarding Daily Hours and Breaks

An employer may require their employees to work any number of hours on any day. An employer may have their employee work a shift longer than 8 hours without giving overtime. Overtime is only contingent on the amount of time worked in a week. In some occupations it may be required for an employee to have a full day, or 24 hours, with no work. These occupations are generally more strenuous or hazardous, and so a full day off is expected. Otherwise, an employer can have their employees work at any time of the day for any amount of time. If an employee is unhappy with the work situation, they may leave the job without advance notice.

When an employee does work over 6 hours, they are required to have an uninterrupted 30-minute break. This break does not have to be paid. It is up to the discretion of the employer whether to provide smaller paid breaks throughout the day, and while most employers do law does not require them to. It is also the employer’s choice whether to provide sick leave and vacation time, and the employer must outline all of these policies in writing for their worker’s perusal.

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