In New York, an employee’s right to be paid fairly is protected by Federal and state laws. In addition to a guaranteed minimum wage, many workers are entitled to overtime pay. While most employers fulfill this legal obligation, others may try to find ways to avoid paying fair compensation to their employees. Lancia Law Firm works with individuals who have been the victim of wage theft and other unfair practices.

Federal Law

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires employees to be paid a minimum wage and overtime pay at a rate of time and a half for all hours worked in excess of 40 hours per week. Some employees, such as executives, professionals and administrative personnel are exempt from this requirement. Non-exempt employees, however,  are entitled to overtime pay.

New York State Law

The New York State Minimum Wage Act currently requires employees to be paid a minimum wage of $9.00 per hour. Under the state law, non-exempt employees are also entitled to time and a half overtime pay after 40 hours per week.

As a result of new legislation the minimum wage is set to increase to $15 per hour by the end of 2018 for workers in New York City. In Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester Counties, the $15 rate must be reached by 2021. The minimum wage initially be raised as of December 31, 2016 and timing and range of the increases depend on the size of the employer and county in which an individual is employed.

In addition to the minimum wage act, employees are also protected under the Wage Theft Protection Act which requires employers to provide written notice of wage rates to new employees. Furthermore, the New York Labor Law requires employees to be paid on a regular basis, and prohibits the misclassification  of non-exempt employees.

Wage and Hour Claims

Wage and hour claims often arise when an employer miscalculates the pay rate or misclassifies a non-exempt employee as exempt. Under Federal law, an employee has two years to file a lawsuit in federal court against an employer for unpaid wages and overtime, unless the violation is willful, in which case the time limit is three years. The New York State law provides greater protection in that an employee may be compensated for damages going back 6 years. An employee who brings a wage and hour claim may be able to recover any underpayment due, reasonable attorneys fees and liquidated damages up to 100 percent of the total amount of wages owed.

Because these cases are often highly technical and complicated, you need an experienced employment law attorney by your side. The Lancia Law Firm has expertise in wage and hour claims and can help you obtain the compensation that you deserve. Contact us today.