Labor Laws For Salaried Employees
Lesley Brovner & Mark Peters
October 3, 2023
There are a number of laws that regulate how employers must treat salaried employees, including laws related to paid overtime for working more than forty hours a week. Federal, State and City government all have a variety of legal and regulatory schemes that offer employees protection, and it is important that both employers and employees understand these interlocking laws.
Understanding Salaried Employment
Salaried workers in New York City are protected by federal, State and City laws that govern the ways in which employers must compensate employees as well as rules regulating their working hours and conditions.
The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) prescribes standards for wages and overtime pay, which affect most private and public employment. The act requires employers to pay covered employees who are not otherwise exempt at least the federal minimum wage and overtime pay of one-and-one-half-times the regular rate of pay.
In New York State, the labor laws are enforced by the New York State Department of Labor and the New York State Attorney General. State law has a higher minimum wage than the federal minimum wage and it varies by region within the State. State law also requires that employers provide employees with a form that sets out their rate of pay and other related information.
In New York City, labor laws are enforced by the Department of Consumer and Worker protection. Certain City laws give even greater rights to workers than are established by federal and State law. For example, the City minimum wage is $15 per hour, far higher than the federal minimum wage or the minimum wage in certain parts of New York State.
Pursuant to the FLSA, covered nonexempt employees must receive overtime pay for hours worked over 40 per workweek (any fixed and regularly recurring period of 168 hours – seven consecutive 24-hour periods) at a rate not less than one and one-half times the regular rate of pay.
The FLSA does not require overtime pay simply because an employee worked on a weekend, holiday, or regular days of rest.
Beyond federal overtime regulations, New York City requires that workers in certain industries be given advance notice of when their work shifts will take place and places restrictions on changing those shifts with less than 72-hours notice.
Minimum Wage Requirements
The federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour.
In New York State the minimum wage varies depending upon geographic location.
In New York City, the Minimum wage is $15 per hour and must be paid for every hour worked. If an employee works more than 40 hours per week, that employee must be paid time-and-a-half for any additional hours.
The federal Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) entitles eligible employees of covered employers to take unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons with continuation of group health insurance coverage under the same terms and conditions as if the employee had not taken leave. Eligible employees are entitled to:
- Twelve workweeks of leave in a 12-month period for:
- the birth of a child and to care for the newborn child within one year of birth;
- the placement with the employee of a child for adoption or foster care and to care for the newly placed child within one year of placement;
- to care for the employee’s spouse, child, or parent who has a serious health condition;
- a serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the essential functions of his or her job;
- any qualifying exigency arising out of the fact that the employee’s spouse, son, daughter, or parent is a covered military member on “covered active duty;” or
- Twenty-six work weeks of leave during a single 12-month period to care for a covered servicemember with a serious injury or illness if the eligible employee is the servicemember’s spouse, son, daughter, parent, or next of kin (military caregiver leave).
New York State goes further and provides that employers must provide paid leave in certain circumstances to:
- bond with a newly born, adopted, or fostered child;
- care for a family member with a serious health condition; or
- assist loved ones when a spouse, domestic partner, child, or parent is deployed abroad on active military service.
Employers may not retaliate against employees for reporting violations of wage laws. For example, Section 15(a)(3) of the FLSA states that it is a violation for any person to “discharge or in any other manner discriminate against any employee because such employee has filed any complaint or instituted or caused to be instituted any proceeding under or related to this Act, or has testified or is about to testify in any such proceeding, or has served or is about to serve on an industry committee.”
State law similarly prohibits retaliation for reporting violations to the State Department of Labor.
Contact an Attorney
The attorneys at the law offices of Peters Brovner LLP focus on helping individuals and entities who are under investigation by the government. In particular, we focus on holding City, State and private institutions accountable for actions that result in significant harm and personal injury. If you or someone you know needs assistance with an employment law matter, please reach out to the lawyers at Peters Brovner LLP for a free initial consultation.