New York

Labor Compliance Guide

Hours & Pay Regulations

Normal Working Hours

The Fair Labor Standards Act defines the workweek as a fixed and recurring period of 168 hours comprised of seven consecutive 24-hour periods that do not need to coincide with the calendar week. It is adjustable only if the change is designed to be permanent. Each week is considered on its own for purposes of calculating overtime. The hours of two or more weeks may not be averaged.

 

There are no limits on:

      • The number of work hours per day (except for children under 18)
      • How early in the morning an adult employee may work
      • How late in the day an adult employee may work

Overtime

The overtime requirement is based on hours worked in a given payroll week. In general, if you have worked more than 40 hours in a pay week, and are not “exempt”, you must be paid an overtime rate for all hours over 40.

    • Covered employees: 1.5 times their regular, ‘straight-time’ hourly rate of pay for all hours over 40 in a payroll week.
    • Residential Employees: 1.5 times their regular, ‘straight-time’ hourly rate of pay for all hours over 44 in a payroll week

Effective January 19, 2018, an employer shall grant an employee’s request for a temporary change to the employee’s work schedule relating to a personal event in accordance with the following provisions, with a temporary change meaning a limited alteration in the hours or times that or locations where an employee is expected to work, including, but not limited to, using paid time off, working remotely, swapping or shifting work hours and using short-term unpaid leave. On request, the employer must grant a request for a temporary change to the employee’s work schedule under this section two times in a calendar year for up to one business day per request. The employer may permit the employee to use two business days for one request, in which case the employer need not grant a second request.

Breaks

One Day Rest in Seven

Every employer operating a factory, mercantile establishment, hotel, restaurant, or freight or passenger elevator in any building or place shall, except as herein otherwise provided, allow every person employed in such establishment or in the care, custody or operation of any such elevator, at least twenty-four consecutive hours of rest in any calendar week.

 

Every employer operating a place in which motion pictures are shown shall allow the projectionist or operator of the motion picture machine and engineers and firemen therein at least twenty-four consecutive hours of rest in any calendar week. Every employer operating a place in which legitimate theater productions such as dramatic and musical productions are shown or exhibited shall allow all employees, including the performers in the cast therein and engineers and firemen, at least twenty-four consecutive hours of rest in each and every calendar week, but this shall not apply to any place wherein motion pictures, vaudeville or incidental stage presentations or a combination thereof are regularly given throughout the week as the established policy of such place; except that engineers and firemen employed in such place shall be allowed at least twenty-four consecutive hours of rest in any calendar week.

 

No employer shall operate such establishment, place or elevator on Sunday.  This does not authorize any work on Sunday not permitted now or by law. Every owner, lessee, and operator of a dwelling, apartment, loft and office building, garage, storage place and building, wherein or whereat a watchman or watchmen or engineer or fireman are employed, shall allow such person or persons so employed at least twenty-four consecutive hours of rest in each and every calendar week.

 

Every owner, lessee or operator of a warehouse, storage house, office, dwelling, apartment, loft, and any other building or structure wherein a janitor, superintendent, supervisor or manager or engineer or fireman is employed, shall allow such person or persons so employed at least twenty four consecutive hours of rest in each and every calendar week.

 

Before operating on Sunday, every employer shall designate a day of rest, consisting of at least twenty-four consecutive hours of rest in each and every calendar week for each employee, and shall notify each employee in advance of his or her designated day of rest. No employee shall be permitted to work on his designated day of rest. Every employer shall keep a time book showing the names and addresses of his employees and the hours worked by each of them in each day.

 

Breast Feeding Breaks

As a nursing mother, an employee can take breaks at least once every three hours to pump breast milk. An employee can take these breaks right before or after their regularly scheduled paid break or meal periods.

Annual Leave

Under the New York State Labor Law, payment for time not actually worked is not required unless the employer has established a policy to grant such pay. Holidays, sick time and/or vacations fall under ‘time not worked.’ When an employer does decide to create a benefit policy, that employer is free to impose any conditions they choose.

Minimum Wage

New York State’s Minimum Wage in 2020 is $12.50 per hour.  The following table summarizes the new minimum wages, by location, effective December 31, 2018:

      • New York City (11+ employees) – $15.00
      • New York City (10 or fewer employees) – $15.00
      • Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester Counties – $13.00
      • Rest of State – $11.80

 

Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester Counties

The hourly rate is to increase by $1 a year after that, reaching $15 Dec. 31, 2021.

 

 

 

 

The above information on minimum wages might not be up to date & subject to change. Kindly access the DOL website for the current rates.

Meal Breaks

Every person employed in or in connection with a factory shall be allowed at least 60 minutes for the noon day meal. Every person employed in or in connection with a mercantile or other establishment or occupation shall be allowed at least 30 minutes for the noonday meal. The noonday meal period is recognized as extending from 11 o’clock in the morning to 2 o’clock in the afternoon.

 

An employee who works a shift of more than 6 hours, which extends over the noonday meal period, is entitled to at least 30 minutes off within that period for the meal period. Every person employed for a period or shift starting before 11 o’clock in the morning and continuing later than 7 o’clock in the evening shall be allowed an additional meal period of at least 20 minutes between 5 and 7 o’clock in the evening.

 

Every person employed for a period or shift of more than 6 hours starting between the hours of 1 o’clock in the afternoon and 6 o’clock in the morning, shall be allowed at least 60 minutes for a meal period when employed in or in connection with a factory, and 45 minutes for a meal period when employed in or in connection with a mercantile or other establishment or occupation, at a time midway between the beginning and end of such employment.

Special Leave

Paid Sick Leave
Effective September 30, 2020, the New York Labor Law requires employers to provide paid sick leave (“PSL”). . However, employees may be restricted from utilizing accrued sick leave until January 1, 2021.

Amount of Leave

Under the new sick leave provisions:

      • Employers with 4 or fewer employees and a net income of $1 million or less in the previous tax year are required to provide 40 hours of unpaid sick leave per calendar year.
      • Employers with 4 or fewer employees and net income of greater than $1 million in the previous tax year are required to provide 40 hours of paid sick leave per calendar year.
      • Employers with 5 to 99 employees must provide 40 hours of paid sick leave per calendar year.
      • Employers with 100 or more employees must provide 56 hours of paid sick leave per calendar year.

In order to calculate the number of employees, a “calendar year” is defined as the 12-month period from January 1 through December 31. For the purposes of using and accruing leave, a “calendar year” means either January 1 through December 31 or any regular and consecutive 12-month period.

 

Accrual

Employees must accrue sick leave at a rate of at least 1 hour for every 30 hours worked.  An employer can fulfill their obligation under the law by providing the full amount of sick leave in a lump sum at the beginning of each year alternatively.

 

Reason for Leave

An employee may use sick leave for the following reasons:

        • Mental or physical illness, injury or health condition of an employee or the employee’s family member (regardless of whether a diagnosis has been obtained);
        • Diagnosis, care or treatment of a mental or physical illness injury, or health condition of, or the need for medical diagnosis of, or preventative care for, the employee or employee’s family member; or
        • Absence when an employee or employee’s family member has been the victim of domestic violence, a family offense, sexual offense, stalking, or human trafficking and seeks or obtains services, including from a shelter, attorney or law enforcement, or takes “any other action to ensure the health or safety of the employee or family member or to protect those who associate or work with the employee.

A family member includes an employee’s child (including foster child, legal ward, or equivalent legal relationship), spouse, domestic partner, parent (including a step- or foster parent, legal guardian, or equivalent legal relationship), sibling, grandchild, grandparent, and the child or parent of an employee’s spouse or domestic partner.

 

An employer may set a reasonable minimum increment at which leave must be used; however, this increment may not exceed 4 hours.

 

Sick Leave Pay

Compensation must be at the employee’s regular rate or the minimum wage, whichever is greater.

 

Carry Over

Unused sick leave carries over to the following year, though employers with fewer than 100 employees may limit the use of sick leave to 40 hours per year, and employers with 100 or more employees may limit the use of sick leave to 56 hours per year.

Paid Family Leave

As of January 1, 2019, employees will be eligible for up to 10 weeks of Paid Family Leave; an increase of 2 weeks from the previous year. In addition, the maximum rate of pay for leave has increased from $652.96 to $746.41. Finally, employers can require an increased employee payroll contribution of up to $2.07 per week. Paid Family Leave is employee-funded insurance that provides job-protected, paid time off to:

    • Bond with a newly born child or 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 called to active military service abroad.

Paid Family Leave Applying Process

    • Notify the employer at least 30 days in advance, if foreseeable, or as soon as possible.
    • Complete and submit the Request for Paid Family Leave (Form PFL-1) to the employer.
    • Complete and attach the additional forms as required and submit to the insurance carrier listed below within 30 days of starting
      the leave, to avoid losing benefits.
    • In most cases, the insurance carrier must pay or deny benefits within 18 calendar days of receiving the completed request or the employee’s first day of leave, whichever is later.
Sick and Safe Leave – NY City

Effective September 30, 2020, the New York City Council is making several changes to New York City’s Paid Sick and Safe Leave Law (the City Sick Leave Law). The Bill aligns the accrual and usage of sick and safe leave under the City Sick Leave Law with New York State’s new paid sick leave law (the State Sick Leave Law).

The City Sick Leave Law would be amended to require the same sick leave usage and accrual requirements as the State Sick Leave Law. In accordance with the amendment:

      • Employers with four or fewer employees and an income less than $1 million must provide 40 hours of paid safe/sick leave.
      • Employers with between 5 and 99 employees, regardless of employer income, will be required to provide up to 40 hours per calendar year of paid sick and safe leave, which is consistent with the prior requirements for these employers.
      • All employers with 100 or more employees (regardless of employer income) will be required to provide up to 56 hours per calendar year of paid sick and safe leave, which matches the requirements of the new State Sick Leave Law.

Carry Over

Employers with 99 or fewer employees are permitted to carry over of up to 40 hours of unused safe/sick time to the following calendar year. Employers with 100 or more employees, can carry over up to 56 hours of unused safe/sick time to the following calendar year.

The Bill also removes the prior requirement that an employee must work 80 hours within New York City to be eligible for sick and safe leave. 

Blood Donation Leave

An employer must either:

          • Grant an employee three hours of leave in any 12-month period to donate blood off of the employer’s premises; or
          • Allow employees to donate blood during work hours at least twice each year at a convenient time and place set by the employer, which includes a blood drive at the employee’s place of employment.
Bone Marrow Donor Leave

An employer must grant leaves of absence to an employee who seeks to undergo a medical procedure to donate bone marrow. The combined length of the leaves shall be determined by the physician, but may not exceed twenty-four work hours, unless agreed to by the employer. The employer may require verification by a physician for the purpose and length of each leave requested by the employee to donate bone marrow.

Crime Victim Leave

The law does not specify the minimum or maximum amount of leave that an employee can take.

Jury Duty Leave

The law does not specify the minimum or maximum amount of jury duty leave. However, employees must be granted the leave required for them to satisfy their required jury service.

Military Service Leave

Employees are entitled to leave in order to fulfill their obligations to the armed forces, national guard and military reserves. This includes participation in drills and other equivalent training, reserve training, instruction, annual full-time training duty, active duty for training or other annual training.

Military Spouse Leave

On August 16, 2006, a new state law went into effect (which has been codified as Section 202-i of the New York Labor Law) that requires certain employers to provide employees who are married to members of the armed forces with up to ten days of unpaid leave upon request. The purpose of the law is to enable employees who are married to members of the armed forces to spend some time with their spouses while the spouses are on leave from the armed forces during a period of military conflict. This information memo describes the coverage of the law, the circumstances under which an eligible employee is entitled to leave, and the obligations of covered employers pursuant to the law.

Voting Leave

Effective April 3, 2020 –

      • Employees are only eligible for voting leave if they do not have four (4) consecutive hours either between the opening of the polls and the beginning of their working shift or between the end of their working shift and the closing of the polls; and
      • Employees who do not have such a 4-hour window are only eligible to take off as much working time as well, when added to their voting time outside working hours, enable the employee to vote, up to two (2) hours of which time must be without loss of pay. 

Employees must request time off to vote between two and ten working days before the election. Employers are still required to post a notice regarding the law at least 10 working days before every elect

Voluntary Emergency Responder Leave

The law does not provide a minimum or maximum amount of time that an employee may take. However, such leave may only be taken during a declared state of emergency.

Adoptive Parent Leave

Employers are required to provide employees who adopt a child the same leave benefits provided to employees for the birth of the child if the adopted child is either younger than school age or a hard-to-place or handicapped child under the age of 18. Employers are prohibited from retaliating against employees for exercising their rights under the law.

Bereavement Leave

No employer who extends to its employees funeral or bereavement leave for the death of an employee’s spouse or the child, parent or other relatives of the spouse shall deny the same leave to an employee for the death of the employee’s same-sex committed partner or the child, parent or other relatives of the committed partner. For the purposes of this section, same-sex committed partners are those who are financially and emotionally interdependent in a manner commonly presumed of spouses.

Accommodation for Victim of Domestic Violence

The New York State Human Rights Law was amended into law A5618/S1040 on August 20, 2019, with respect to protection for victims of domestic violence. The Amendment becomes effective on November 18, 2019. One of the amendments was pertaining to the accommodation of victims of domestic violence by the employer. The Amendment requires employers to reasonably accommodate victims of domestic violence who must be absent from work “for a reasonable amount of time” to:

              • Seeking medical attention for injuries caused by domestic violence including for a child who is a victim of domestic violence, provided that the employee is not the perpetrator of the domestic violence against the child; or
              • Obtaining services from a domestic violence shelter, program, or rape crisis center as a result of domestic violence; or
              • Obtaining psychological counseling related to an incident or incidents of domestic violence, including for a child who is a victim of domestic violence, provided that the employee is not the perpetrator of the domestic violence against the child; or
              • Participating in safety planning and taking other actions to increase safety from future incidents of domestic violence, including
                temporary or permanent relocation; or
              • Obtaining legal services, assisting in the prosecution of the offense, or appearing in court in relation to the incident or incidents of domestic violence.

An employer is required to provide reasonable accommodation for an employee’s absence unless the employer can demonstrate that the employee’s absence would constitute an undue hardship to the employer. A decision of whether the absence will cause an unnecessary hardship requires an evaluation of factors, such as the size of the employer’s business and the nature of its operation, including the composition and structure of its workforce. Employers may require employees to use any available paid time off during any leave provided as an accommodation.

The Amendment requires an employee to provide the employer with reasonable notice of the need to be absent, if reasonable. If the advance notice was not feasible, the employee must, upon employer request, provide a certification confirming the requirement for the time-off accommodation. An employee who must be absent from work who cannot feasibly give reasonable advance notice of the absence within a reasonable time after the absence, provide a certification to the employer when requested by the employer.

Last updated on: October 2nd, 2020