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New York - Wage and Hour Laws - Employment Law Handbook

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Minimum Wage

New York's current minimum wage is $8.00.
For more information on New York's minimum wage laws, visit our New York Minimum Wage Laws page, which includes topics such as minimum wage, tip minimum wage, tip sharing and pooling, and subminimum wages.
Related topic covered on other pages include:

Overtime

New York requires an employer to pay overtime to employees, unless otherwise exempt, at the rate of 1½ times the employee's regular rate of pay for all hours worked in excess of 40 hours in a workweek. NY Dept. of Labor FAQs. See FLSA: Overtime for more information regarding overtime requirements.

One Day Rest in Seven

New York requires certain employers to provide their employees at least 24 consecutive hours rest in any calendar week. Employers covered by this law include those operating factories, mercantile establishments, hotels, and restaurants. Other employers are covered as well. Section 161 of the New York State Labor Law.
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Meals and Breaks

Every person employed in or in connection with a mercantile or other establishment or occupation coming under the provisions of this chapter shall be allowed at least (30) thirty minutes for the noonday meal, except as in this chapter otherwise provided. The noonday (12:00 p.m.) meal period is recognized as extending from eleven o'clock in the morning (11:00 a.m.) to two o'clock in the afternoon (2:00 p.m.). An employee who works a shift of more than six (6) hours which extends over the noonday (12:00 p.m.) meal period is entitled to at least thirty (30) minutes off within that period for the meal period. Every person employed for a period or shift starting before eleven o'clock in the morning (11:00 a.m.) and continuing later than seven o'clock in the evening (7:00 p.m.) shall be allowed an additional meal period of at least twenty (20) minutes between five o'clock in the evening (5:00 p.m.) and seven o'clock in the evening (7:00 p.m.). Every person employed for a period or shift of more than six (6) hours starting between the hours of one o'clock in the afternoon (1:00 p.m.) and six o'clock in the morning (6:00 a.m.), shall be allowed at least sixty (60) minutes for a meal period when employed in or in connection with a factory, and forty-five (45) minutes for a meal period when employed in or in connection with a mercantile or other establishment or occupation coming under the provision of this chapter, at a time midway between the beginning and end of such employment. The commissioner may permit a shorter time to be fixed for meal periods than provided. The permit therefore shall be in writing and shall be kept conspicuously posted in the main entrance of the establishment. Such permit may be revoked at any time. In administering this statute, the Department applies the following interpretations and guidelines:
  • Employee Coverage: Section 162 applies to every "person" in any establishment or occupation covered by the Labor Law. Accordingly, all categories of workers are covered, including white collar management staff.
  • Shorter Meal Periods: The Department will permit a shorter meal period of not less than 30 minutes as a matter of course, without application by the employer, so long as there is no indication of hardship to employees. A meal period of not less than 20 minutes will be permitted only in special or unusual cases after investigation and issuance of a special permit.
  • One Employee Shift: In some instances where only one person is on duty or is the only one in a specific occupation, it is customary for the employee to eat on the job without being relieved. The Department of Labor will accept these special situations as compliance with Section 162 where the employee voluntarily consents to the arrangements. However, an uninterrupted meal period must be afforded to every employee who requests this from an employer.
Section 162 of the New York State Labor Law.
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Vacation Leave

Information about New York vacation leave laws may now be found on our New York Leave Laws page.
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Sick Leave

Information about New York sick leave laws may now be found on our New York Leave Laws page.
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Holiday Leave

Information about New York holiday leave laws may now be found on our New York Leave Laws page.
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Jury Duty Leave

Information about New York jury duty leave laws may now be found on our New York Leave Laws page.
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Voting Leave

Information about New York voting leave laws may now be found on our New York Leave Laws page.
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Severance Pay

New York law does not require employers to provide employees with severance pay. NY Dept. of Labor FAQs. If an employer chooses to provide severance benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract.
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