Like most employers, contractors who have full-time employees are bound to follow New York overtime rules. They require you to compensate workers time-and-a-half for anything over 40 hours in a week. Since violations can be costly, you will want to know and follow these regulations.
Overtime Rules for New York Employers
Most New York employees are entitled to overtime pay for the time they work beyond 40 hours in the workweek. Employees who work more than 40 hours in a week must be paid one-and-a-half times their regular rate. If you pay on a non-hourly basis, an employee’s regular hourly rate can be calculated if you divide total earnings by total hours worked.
New York overtime rules apply to an individual workweek, which is seven consecutive 24-hour periods. A workweek does not have to coincide with a calendar week. It may begin at any day or any hour. You could even have different workweeks for different employees. Overtime laws do not permit the averaging of two or more weeks into one.
New York employers must adhere to both state and Federal overtime rules. If a difference exists between the two, you must follow the rules that most benefit the worker.
Holidays, Weekends or Night Work
New York Labor Law does not require overtime pay for holidays, weekends or nights. But, if an individual employment agreement or collective bargaining agreement calls for such additional pay, that contract is enforceable under Labor Law.
Who is Exempt?
New York State overtime rules apply to “any individual employed or permitted to work by an employer in any occupation,” but it excludes these types of workers:
- Executive employees
- Administrative workers
- Professional employees
- Outside salespeople
- Volunteers, interns and apprentices
Common Overtime Violations
Overtime laws are often violated by employers who make these mistakes:
- Treating workers as exempt
- Not paying for all hours worked
- Allowing employees to work off-the-clock or “volunteer” hours
- Improperly using “comp” time
- Treating employees as independent contractors
In New York, overtime violations can cost employers big money. If you violate the law, you may face these penalties:
- Back pay
- Damages caused by the failure to pay
- State civil penalties of up to $1,000
- Fair Labor Standards Act violation penalty of up to $10,000
Even though overtime rules are fairly straightforward, they can be overlooked when work piles up. To help you comply, educate your workforce on these regulations, too.