New York State Minimum Wage Act
Minimum Wage Act
The Minimum Wage Act (Article 19 of the New York State Labor Law) requires that all employees in New York State receive at least the applicable hourly Minimum Wage rate. This includes domestic workers and employees in the Nail Salon Industry.
Regulations known as ‘Wage Orders’ set certain requirements that are industry-specific. The rates contained in these Wage Orders may differ from the general Minimum Wage rate. For details, please see the wage order summaries below.
- Wage Order for the Hospitality Industry (includes fast food workers)
- Summary of Wage Order Rates and Credits for the Hospitality Industry (includes fast food workers)
- Wage Order for the Building Service Industry
- Summary of Wage Order Rates and Allowances for the Building Service Industry
- Wage Order for Miscellaneous Industries and Occupations
- Summary of Wage Order Rates and Allowances for Miscellaneous Industries and Occupations
- Wage Order for Non-Profitmaking Institutions
- Wage Order for Farm Workers
- Summary of Wage Order Rates and Allowances for Farm Workers
1. Are there different minimum wage rates in different parts of the State?
Yes, until the minimum wage reaches $15.00, different minimum wage rates will be in effect in the following areas of the state:
New York City
Westchester County and Long Island
Remainder of New York State
2. When will New York State’s minimum wage reach $15 per hour?
The minimum wage will be phased in to reach $15.00 for the following groups on the dates set forth below.
Group 1: New York City Large Employers (employees who work in New York City for Fast Food Establishments and employers of 11 or more employees) – New York City Large Employers will reach $15 on December 31, 2018;
Group 2: New York City all others – All other employees who work in New York City will reach $15 on December 31, 2019;
Group 3: All other Fast Food – On July 1, 2021, for all other Fast Food Workers throughout the state;
Group 4: Downstate – On December 31, 2021, for all employees in Westchester, Nassau and Suffolk counties;
Group 5: All others – Employees who work in the balance of the State (outside of New York City or Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester counties, other than Fast Food Workers) will reach $12.50 per hour on December 31, 2020. On December 31 of each year, starting in 2021, the minimum wage for Group 5 will be increased at rates to be determined annually until the minimum wage reaches $15.00 per hour.
3. Does the minimum wage rate depend on where a business is located, or where employees work?
The minimum wage is based on where an employee performs work. Workers must be paid the minimum wage rate for their work location regardless of where the main office of their employer is located.
4. Does the minimum wage depend on the size of a business?
In New York City only, until December 31, 2019, there are two minimum wage rates that depend on the size of a business: one for a Small Employer, and one for a Large Employer.
5. For the purpose of the minimum wage and Fast Food minimum wage, what areas are included in New York City?
Bronx, Queens, Richmond, Kings and New York counties are included in New York City.
6. What is a New York City Small Employer?
Any business that (1) employs one or more employees in New York City and (2) has not employed more than 10 employees at any time during the current or prior calendar year and among all worksites. The employer must pay the Small Employer minimum wage rate to any employee who works within New York City during the current calendar year.
7. What is a New York City Large Employer?
Any business that (1) employs one or more employees in New York City, and (2) has employed more than 10 employees at any time during the current or prior calendar year and among all worksites. The employer must pay the Large Employer minimum wage rate to any employee who works within New York City during the current calendar year.
8. Does a New York City Large Employer have to pay employees who work at a non-New York City location the New York City Large Employer minimum wage Rate?
No. The minimum wage rate in New York City is based on the size of the employer and the work location of the employee. Only employees of a New York City Large Employer who work within New York City must be paid the Large Employer minimum wage rate.
9. Would a New York City employer count each part-time employee as a single employee?
Yes. For example, 16 part-time employees count as 16 employees. Such an employer is required to pay the New York City Large Employer minimum wage rate.
10. Can a New York City employer average the number of employees for a year or a quarter to establish its size?
No. A yearly or quarterly average should not be used to establish employer size. The size is based on the highest total number of employees at any given time during the current or prior calendar year and among all worksites.
11. If a New York City employer’s business is seasonal and only employs more than 10 persons for part of the year, would they have to pay the Large Employer minimum wage during the rest of the year?
Yes. A New York City employer must pay the New York City Large Employer rate the moment it employs 11 persons. Note that if the employer had previously employed 11 or more persons at any point during the current or prior calendar year, the employer would have to pay the Large Employer rate throughout the current calendar year.
12. If a New York City Large Employer ceases to employ more than 10 persons, when will they become subject to the lower minimum wage rate for New York City Small Employers?
Since size is determined based on the prior and current calendar year, a New York City Large Employer who ceases to employ more than 10 employees must wait a full calendar year before becoming subject to the lower Small Employer rate. For example, a New York City employer who employed more than 10 employees at any time in 2016 who does not employ more than 10 persons throughout 2017 will be considered a Small Employer in 2018 as long as it continues to employ no more than 10 persons.
13. If an employer co-employs workers with another entity, must they total the number of employees together?
Yes, wherever there is joint employment, all employees at all entities must be totaled together to determine which minimum wage rate applies.
14. If employees work in two minimum wage regions, (e.g. Westchester and New York City), which minimum wage rate should be paid?
An employer may pay the highest rate for all hours worked, or pay each hour worked in each region at the applicable minimum wage rate for that region.
15. Are employers required to keep track of employee hours worked in different minimum wage regions if they pay different rates in each region?
Yes. Under law and regulation, employers have always been required to keep true and accurate records of employees’ weekly hours worked, rates paid, and wages earned for hours worked. If the employer pays different wage rates, they must be able to show the employee’s hours worked for each wage rate.
16. Do multiple minimum wage rates have to appear on an employee’s pay stub?
Yes. If an employee earned wages at more than one rate of pay for the earning period, those rates must appear on the employee’s pay stub.
17. Do all employers in New York State have to pay the minimum wage?
No. While nearly every employer must pay the New York State minimum wage, there are some very specific exceptions, which only apply to certain employees or employees of public entities. For information about minimum wage exclusions, see our FAQs: https://www.labor.ny.gov/workerprotection/laborstandards/faq.shtm.
18. Is there a lower minimum wage rate for trainees or youth?
No. There is no lower wage rate established for trainees or youth.
19. Do bonus payments or commissions count toward minimum wage?
Wages may be paid in a variety of ways and can include incentive pay or commissions. The employer has an obligation to ensure an employee earns the applicable minimum wage rate for every hour worked. Information about commissions or other payments may be found at: https://www.labor.ny.gov/legal/counsel/pdf/payment-of-commissions-frequently-asked-questions.pdf
20. What meal allowance may an employer charge if an employee works in different minimum wage regions?
An employer may charge an allowance per meal eaten by an employee. The employer may either charge the lesser meal allowance for every meal or charge the allowance applicable to where the employee ate the provided meal.
21. What uniform allowance must an employer pay when an employee works in different minimum wage regions?
Employers may pay the higher uniform maintenance allowance for the week or they may choose to prorate the allowance for the number of hours worked in each region.
22. What overtime rate applies if employees work in different minimum wage regions?
Overtime must be paid at one and a half times the employee’s regular rate of pay. If an employee is paid at different rates for different hours, the employer must pay overtime at 1.5 times the regular rate. The regular rate is determined by dividing gross earnings by the hours worked.
23. Must an employer notify employees about the minimum wage increase?
Yes, every employer must provide notice by posting the applicable minimum wage poster. Copies of the posters are available at: www.labor.ny.gov/workerprotection/laborstandards/workprot/minwage.shtm.
24. If an employee’s rate of pay increases, what other notices are required to be provided to the employee?
If the employee’s rate of pay increases, the increase must be reflected in the wage statement provided with their paycheck. For employees in the Hospitality Industry, written notice must also be provided prior to any change in their hourly rates of pay.
25. If employees are paid different rates during the same pay period, what notices are required?
Employees must be made aware of the pay rate applicable to the work they perform. Employers may provide separate notices for each region, job site, job title and pay rate, or the employer may include a listing of all rates on a single employee pay notice. If the employee’s rate of pay increases, the increase must be reflected in the wage statement provided with their paycheck. For employees in the Hospitality Industry, written notice must also be provided prior to any change in their hourly rates of pay. Additionally, any decreased rates must be communicated to the employee prior to the performance of work at the lower rate of pay.
26. Will the minimum weekly salary for overtime exempt administrative and executive employees increase on December 31, 2019?
Yes. Each time the New York State minimum wage increases, the state’s minimum salary required for executive and administrative employees will increase proportionately. On December 31, 2019, the state minimum weekly salary for administrative and executive employees will range from $885.00 per week for employees outside of New York City and Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester counties, to $1,125.00 per week for employees who work in New York City for large employers and Fast Food Establishments.
27. Has the federal government increased the minimum weekly salary for overtime-exempt administrative, executive, and professional employees?
Yes. The US Department of Labor issued a final ruling on the new salary threshold for salary exemption: $684 per week (equivalent to $35,568 per year). Under the federal rule, any administrative, executive or professional employee who earns less than this becomes eligible for overtime pay, regardless of actual duties, beginning January 1, 2020. The previous rate was $455 per week. Contact the USDOL at (866) 487-2365 for more information.
28. Will employers in New York State have to pay overtime for executive and administrative employees whose salary is more than the federal minimum but less than the state minimum salary requirement for those overtime exemptions?
Yes. New York State’s salary threshold is usually higher than the federal threshold, and that will remain the case if the federal courts continue to block the planned federal increases. In such cases, employers who are subject to state overtime requirements must pay overtime at time and a half. While the general rule is that overtime must be paid at time and a half of the regular rate, a limited exception allows certain employers to pay time and a half of the minimum wage rate. That exception is limited to employers who are exempt from federal overtime requirements, and who are subject to state wage order for miscellaneous industries. That wage order covers industries other than hospitality and building services.
29. Where can I find more information about New York State overtime exemptions for executive, administrative, or professional employees?
You can find more answers to questions about these exemptions at: https://labor.ny.gov/legal/counsel/pdf/overtime-frequently-asked-questions.pdf.
30. Can a New York State employer change an employee’s rate of pay from a weekly salary to hourly rate?
Yes. An employer can change an employee’s rate of pay with advanced notice. Most employees, regardless of their rate or method of payment, must be paid overtime after 40 hours of work per week.
31. How will an employer know if it should pay the federal or state weekly minimum salary to executive, administrative and professional employees?
In general, employers who are covered by both state and federal laws must pay employees the higher rate, whether it is the minimum wage or the weekly minimum salary. Information about coverage under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is available on the United States Department of Labor website: https://www.dol.gov/whd/overtime/final2016/overtime-factsheet.htm.