New York Minimum Wage Laws




Minimum wage

New York’s current minimum wage is $9.00. NY Dept. of Labor – Wage and Hour FAQ

Special minimum wage regulations apply to fast food workers, the building service industry and the hospitality industry. Where appropriate, the regulations particular to those industries are discussed in the sections below.

Fast Food Workers Minimum Wage

New York’s current minimum wage for fast food workers in New York City is $10.50. For fast food workers in the rest of the state, it is $9.75. NY Fast Food Worker Minimum Wage Fact Sheet

The minimum wage for fast food workers in New York City will increase over the next several years as follows:

  • December 31, 2016: $12.00
  • December 31, 2017: $13.50
  • December 31, 2018: $15.00
  • December 31, 2019: $15.00
  • December 31, 2020: $15.00
  • July 1, 2021: $15.00

The minimum wage for fast food workers not in New York City will increase over the next several years as follows:

  • December 31, 2016: $10.75
  • December 31, 2017: $11.75
  • December 31, 2018: $12.75
  • December 31, 2019: $13.75
  • December 31, 2020: $15.00
  • July 1, 2021: $15.00

NY Fast Food Worker Minimum Wage Fact Sheet

A fast food worker for purposes of New York’s fast food worker minimum wage is an employee of a fast food establishment. A fast food establishment is defined as a business that:

  • Primarily serves food or drinks, including coffee shops, juice bars, donut shops, and ice cream shops;
  • offers limited service where customers order and pay before eating, including restaurants with tables but without full table service and places that only provide take-out service; and
  • is part of a chain of 30 or more locations, including individually owned establishments associated with a brand that has 30 or more locations nationally.

NY Fast Food Worker Minimum Wage Fact Sheet; NY Admin. Rule 146-3.13



Tip minimum wage

Non-hospitality industry employees

New York’s minimum wage for tipped employee in non-hospitality industries is:

  • $7.65, for tipped employee who earn between $1.35 and $2.20 per hour in tips; or
  • $6.60 for tipped employees who earn more than $2.20 per hour in tips.

NY Admin. Rules 142-2.5(b)



Tips are defined as voluntary contributions made by customers to employees for services performed. NY Admin. Rules 142-2.21 Tipped employers are employees who:

  • work in occupations in which tips have customarily and usually constituted part of the employees’ compensation, and
  • actually receive the amount of tips necessary to be paid the either the higher or lower tipped minimum wage.

An employer may not pay employees the tipped minimum wage if they earn less than $1.35 per hour in tips or if the employer fails to record the tip allowance taken on a weekly basis as a separate item in the wage record.NY Admin. Rules 142-2.5(b)

Hospitality industry employees

New York’s minimum wage for tipped employees in the hospitality industry is $7.90. NY Admin. Rules 146-1.3

A service employee is defined as an employee, other than a food service worker, who customarily receives $1.95 in tips per day. Whether an employee meets the tip threshold is determined on a weekly basis. Employee do not qualify as service employees if they work in a non-tipped occupation for two (2) hours or more per day or 20 percent of their daily shift, whichever is less. NY Admin. Rules 146-3.3

A food service worker is defined as an employee who is primarily engaged in serving food or beverages to customers in the hospitality industry and who regularly received tips from customers. Food service workers include, but are not limited to, wait staff, bartenders, captains, and bussing personnel; delivery workers are not food service workers. Employee do not qualify as food service workers if they work in a non-tipped occupation for two (2) hours or more per day or 20 percent of their daily shift, whichever is less. NY Admin. Rules 146-3.4

Administrative charges for banquets, special functions, or package deals that the employer does not intend to distribute to employees are not gratuities or tips only if the customer is clearly notified that such is the case. A customer will be deemed to be adequately notified if the notice is in the contract or agreement with the customer or on the menu or bill listing prices and the notice is in language that is easy to understand and is printed in a font size similar to the surrounding text, but no smaller than 12-point font. An employer may provide split administrative charges with employees but only if the required notice indicates the percentage that will be given to the employees and the percentage that will be retained by the employer. NY Admin. Rules 146-2.19



Tip pooling and sharing

New York minimum wage laws allow employers to require food service workers to participate in a tip pool arrangements and to set the percentage of tips to be distributed to each occupation from the tip pool. NY Admin. 146-2.16(b) A tip pool is defined as the practice by which the tip earnings of directly tipped employees are combined and the redistributed among directly and indirectly tipped employees. NY Admin. Rules 146-2.14(b) Only food service workers may participate in an employer-mandated tip pool. Directly tipped employees may voluntarily agree among themselves to participate in a tip pool. Tips in a voluntary tip pool may be distributed to directly and indirectly tipped employees. NY Admin. Rules 146-2.16(a)

New York minimum wage laws allow employers to require directly tipped food service workers to participate in a tip sharing arrangement with other food service workers who participate in provide service to customers and to set the percentage of tips to be distributed to each occupation from the tip pool. NY Admin. Rules 146-2.15(b) Tip sharing is defined a practice in which a directly tipped employee gives a portion of his or her tips to another tipped employee who participated in providing service to customers. NY Admin. Rules 146-2.14(b) Directly tipped employees may voluntarily share their tips with other service employee or food service workers who participate in serving customers. NY Admin. Rules 146-2.15(a)

A directly tipped employee is an employee who receives tips from customers without any other employee between the customer and the employee. NY Admin. Rules 146-2.14(c) An indirectly tipped employee is an employee who do not receive tips directly from customers but may be eligible to participate in a tip pooling or sharing arrangement. NY Admin. Rules 146-2.14(d) Whether an employee qualifies as is a direct tipped employee or an indirect tipped employee depends on the job duties performed and not on titles. To qualify, eligible employees must perform or assist in personal service to customers at a level that is a rebular part of their duties and not merely occasional or incidental. Examples of occupations that typically qualify as either directly tipped or indirectly tipped are:

  • wait staff;
  • counter personnel who serve food or beverages to customers;
  • bus persons;
  • service bartenders;
  • barbacks;
  • food runners;
  • captains who provide direct food service to customers; and
  • hosts who greet and seat customers.

NY Admin. Rules 146-2.14(e)

If employer require employees to participate in tip pooling or sharing arrangements, they may not require that directly tipped employee contribute a greater percentage of their tips to indirectly tipped employees that is customary and reasonable. NY Admin. Rules 146-2.14(f)

An employer is not responsible to compensate participants in a tip pool or sharing arrangement for tips that are wrongfully withheld from the tip sharing by a participant. NY Admin. Rules 146-2.15(c); NY Admin. 146-2.16(c)



Subminimum wage

Employees with disabilities

New York minimum wage laws exempt employees with disabilities from its minimum wage and overtime requirements if they work for religious, educational, or charitable institutions. NY Labor Law 651(5)(j)

New York minimum wage laws allow employers to pay employees with disabilities a subminimum wage rate less than the standard minimum wage if the employee is working as part of a rehabilitation program approved by the New York Department of Labor. NY Admin. Rules 142-2.13; see also NY Dept. of Labor: Guidelines – Rehabilitation Programs



Trainees

New York minimum wage laws do not allow employers to pay trainees a wage rate less than the standard minimum wage.



Apprentices

New York minimum wage laws exempt apprentices from their minimum wage and overtime requirements if they work for a corporation, unincorporated association, community chest, fund, or foundation organized and operated exclusively for religious, charitable, or educational purposes. NY Labor Law 651(5)(f)

New York minimum wage laws do not allow any other employers to pay apprentices a subminimum wage rate that is less than the standard minimum wage. NY Admin. Rules 142-2.12



Learners

New York minimum wage laws exempt learners from their minimum wage and overtime requirements if they work for a corporation, unincorporated association, community chest, fund, or foundation organized and operated exclusively for religious, charitable, or educational purposes. NY Labor Law 651(5)(f)

New York minimum wage laws do not allow any other employers to pay learners a subminimum wage rate that is less than the standard minimum wage. NY Admin. Rules 142-2.12



Student learners

New York minimum wage laws do not allow employers to pay student learners a subminimum wage less than the standard minimum wage, unless they qualify as a learner that works for a corporation, unincorporated association, community chest, fund, or foundation organized and operated exclusively for religious, charitable, or educational purposes. NY Labor Law 651(5)(f)



Student workers

New York minimum wage laws do not allow employers to pay student workers a subminimum wage rate that is less than the minimum wage, unless otherwise exempt.