The Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) and New York state laws require employers to meet certain minimum requirements when paying their employees. Minimum wage in New York is presently $7.25 per hour. With some exceptions, most employees are entitled to be paid one-and-a-half times their hourly pay rate for every hour worked in excess of 40 hours in a week. Salaried employees may be entitled to overtime pay as well.
Violations of FLSA and New York wage and hour laws take a variety of forms. The following are common examples:
- Misclassifying an employee as “exempt” so the employer does not have to pay overtime;
- Misclassifying an employee as an “independent contractor” so the employer does not have to pay overtime;
- Subtracting “break time” from an employee’s paycheck when the employee did not take a break;
- Mandating before-hours, or after-hours, labor without compensation, i.e. “off-the-clock” work;
- Taking a portion of an employee’s tips;
- Taking an illegal deduction from an employee’s paycheck;
- Failing to compensate an employee for training;
- Failing to give an employee information regarding his/her pay rate, date of pay, overtime (if applicable).
Violations of federal and state wage and hour laws can be very costly for employers. If an employer has violated these laws, it may be on the hook for back pay (up to six years in New York), costs, and a reasonable attorney’s fee. In addition, employers may have to pay liquidated damages. The amount of liquidated damages allowed changed recently in New York. In 2011, it increased from 25% of unpaid wages to 100% of unpaid wages under the Wage Theft Prevention Act.
Our NY and NJ wage and hour attorneys have experience litigating claims against employers who have wrongfully denied employees proper minimum wage, overtime benefits, and prevailing wages. If you believe your employer has failed to pay you in accordance with the law, please call us at (973) 509-8500 to schedule a consultation.