New York Overtime Laws have been introduced to protect employees, ensure fair employment, and guarantee proper compensation.
If you’re running a business in New York City, besides the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), a federal law, you’re required to follow New York Overtime Laws and understand how to properly compensate your employees when they’re working overtime.
This article will cover everything you have to know about NY Overtime Laws and inform you about your responsibilities and your employees’ rights.
The state of New York outlined the essential workers’ rights in its New York Labor Law (NYLL). This legislation contains provisions covering safety and health, the minimum wage, and labor standards, among other things.
According to the New York Overtime Laws, the overtime rate is calculated using the time-and-a-half formula. In other words, the overtime rate is one and a half times an employee’s regular pay rate.
As for the overtime pay eligibility, different factors are taken into account, but generally speaking, the majority of employees are entitled to overtime pay if they work more than 40 hours a week.
Here are some key terms and concepts related to New York Overtime Laws you should familiarize yourself with.
The FLSA defines a workweek as a period consisting of seven 24-hour days or a fixed and regularly recurring 168-hour period.
It’s worth clarifying that a workweek doesn’t have to coincide with a calendar week, meaning it can start on any day of the week as long as it lasts for seven consecutive days.
According to the NYLL, different minimum wage rates apply depending on the region and business size.
For example, in New York City, the minimum wage rate is $15 per hour for both big (11+) and small (10 or less) employers. The same rate applies in Long Island and Westchester, while for the remainder of the state, the minimum wage rate is $13.20.
This is significantly more than the federally mandated average minimum wage rate of $7.25 per hour. In case there’s a difference between the federal and state legislation, employers are required to adhere to the one that’s more beneficial to their employees.
In short, an employee from New York whose regular pay rate is $15, will get $22.50 per every overtime hour.
When calculating overtime pay, you should take another factor into account - whether an employee is exempt or non-exempt.
What makes an employee exempt in NYS?
According to FLSA, exempt employees aren’t eligible for overtime pay, while non-exempt employees are.
Employees need to hold an executive, professional, administrative position to be exempt from overtime pay. Additional two exempt employee categories are some computer workers and outside salespeople.
Another requirement for qualifying as an exempt employee is a salary threshold outlined in New York Overtime Laws. This means that white-collar employees with a base salary of at least:
don’t qualify for overtime pay in New York State.
However, besides these five groups, several other positions are classified as exempt by the FLSA even though they don’t meet the criteria listed above. These include:
It should also be mentioned that according to New York State Overtime Laws, both salaried and non-salaried employees are entitled to overtime pay.
This means that if a salaried employee is employed to work 50 hours a week regularly, they still should receive overtime pay for the 10 hours that exceed the regular 40-hour week.
This rule doesn’t apply only if they belong to one of the categories of exempt employees.
Although New York Overtime Laws are in line with the FLSA, there are some notable differences you should be aware of.
We’ve already discussed employees exempt from overtime pay according to the FLSA and New York Overtime Laws follow the same regulations but with a couple of exceptions.
According to New York Overtime Laws, farmworkers are eligible for overtime pay for every extra hour worked after their regular 60-hour calendar week or any hour worked during their off days.
Domestic employees qualify for overtime pay for every hour they worked after 40 hours in a workweek. If they’re live-in (meaning that they live in their employer’s home), then the threshold after which they’re eligible for overtime is 44 hours in a workweek.
Finally, New York Overtime Laws and the FLSA, in most cases, prescribe the same overtime wage rate - it has to be no less than 1.5 times the employee’s regular pay rate.
However, since some employees exempt from overtime pay according to the FLSA are non-exempt under the New York Overtime Law, a different overtime wage rate applies. In these exceptional cases, the overtime rate is no less than 1.5 times the state minimum wage as opposed to the employee’s regular overtime pay rate. These exceptions are covered by the Miscellaneous Wage Order.
Calculating overtime for hourly workers isn’t complicated. You simply use the time-and-a-half formula.
For example, suppose an employee makes $18 per hour and works 45 hours a week. In that case, their weekly paycheck will be calculated in the following manner:
40 x $16 = $640 - Regular hours
1.5 x $16 = $24 - Overtime rate
5 x $24 = $120 - Overtime pay
$120 + $640 = 760 - Total weekly pay
But, this formula has to be expanded when an overtime-eligible employee earns a fixed salary or is paid on a per-unit basis. To calculate the regular pay rate, in this case, divide the total weekly earnings by the total number of hours worked.
Let’s say an employee earned $600 (before overtime) in a workweek and worked 45 hours.
$600 / 45 = $13.3 - Regular pay rate
1.5 x $13.3 = $20 - Overtime rate
5 x $20 = $100 = Overtime pay
$600 + $100 = Total weekly earnings
To better understand New York state labor laws regarding overtime, it’s good to shed some light on what isn’t considered overtime.
Some states, California, for example, specify a daily overtime limit. Still, the State of New York doesn’t consider a longer-than-usual workday to be overtime.
Your employees can work 10- or 12-hour shifts a day, and as long as they don’t exceed their regular 40 hours a week, they aren’t eligible for overtime pay.
Is overtime after 8 hours or 40 hours in NY?
Based on this provision, any work done beyond 40 hours a week counts as overtime in New York.
But this also means that averaging the number of hours over two or more weeks is a severe violation of New York Overtime Laws.
Namely, this common malpractice is used when employers want to avoid paying overtime. Statistics say that working extra hours for free is on the rise in North America. It went up from 4 to 8.9 hours a week between January 2020 and January 2021.
For example, an employee works 55 hours one week and 25 the following week if their employer averages these hours over the two weeks and presents that they worked 80 hours in two weeks or 40 hours per week.
Using this faulty reasoning, the employer will determine that the employee isn’t entitled to overtime pay.
New York Overtime Laws don’t require employers to pay overtime when employees work on holidays, weekends, or at night.
Again, this rule applies only if these hours don’t exceed the 40-hour threshold.
Also, if there’s an individual agreement or collective agreement between the employer and employees, working on weekends, holidays, or at night will be paid at an increased or overtime rate. Again, it’s legally binding according to the Labor Law.
According to the NYLL, certain payments aren’t included in the regular rate, and they are:
So, these payments should be excluded from the equation when the regular rate is calculated.
One Day Rest in Seven is a section of the New York Labor Law stipulating that employers must provide at least 24 consecutive hours of rest in any calendar week to certain blue-collar occupations.
This refers to employees who work in factories, hotels, restaurants, janitors, superintendents, projectionists, elevator operators, and similar jobs.
Although they are entitled to one free day out of seven, these employees still can work overtime and receive adequate compensation for extra hours worked.
Nurses usually have hectic schedules due to the nature of their job. This means long and sometimes unpredictable shifts. In addition to all that, being a nurse is one of the most responsible and stressful jobs.
All this makes it difficult, if not impossible, for nurses to maintain a healthy work-life balance, which can result in a higher risk of patient safety incidents.
For example, nurses have to work overtime in case there’s an emergency such as an unexpected healthcare disaster or when the facility is engaged in a medical or surgical procedure, and a particular nurse’s skills are critical to ensuring patient safety.
Bus and truck drivers fall under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). This agency is responsible for determining how many hours commercial motor vehicle drivers can work overtime.
According to regulations, property-carrying drivers can drive for 11 consecutive hours after a 10-hour off-duty period. Passenger-carrying drivers can drive no more than 10 hours after eight consecutive hours off duty.
Although some truck drivers aren’t eligible for overtime pay under the FLSA’s Motor Carrier Exemption, New York Overtime Laws require employers to compensate these employees using the 1.5 times minimum state wage rate.
Under New York Overtime Laws, employees can’t waive their right to overtime.
This practically means that employers can’t force them to sign an agreement according to which they accept that only 8 hours a day or 40 hours a week will be considered paid working time. Regardless of what any contract says, if they work more than 40 hours per week, employees will be legally entitled to receive proper overtime pay.
Understanding New York Overtime Laws will help you compensate your employees adequately for overtime and avoid legal troubles.
First of all, almost all employees are entitled to overtime pay according to NY overtime laws, even those that are exempt under the FLSA. A 40-hour workweek is a primary measure for calculating overtime pay in New York and not an 8-hour workday.
By implementing Timeero, you can track your employees’ time, regardless of where they are, and rest assured they will be properly compensated for their overtime hours.