HAPPY NEW YEAR!
As part of our firm’s continued commitment to your success please find below a few critical updates to New York Labor Law with respect to hourly wages that are taking place beginning immediately in 2015.
EMPLOYER UPDATE 2015 HOURLY WAGE INCREASE EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY
2015 kicks off with immediate changes to the New York employment landscape with respect to minimum wages.
Please take note that effective December 31, 2014 the minimum wage for New York employees will increase from $8.00 per hour to $8.75 per hour.
A second increase to the New York minimum wage will take effect as of December 31, 2015 making the per hour rate $9.00.
RESTAURANT AND FOOD SERVICE BUSINESS WAGE UPDATE
Employers of restaurant and food service employees who regularly receive tips are required to pay wages of $5.00 per hour and credit for tips of $3.75 per hour.
Employees must earn a minimum of $8.75 per hour, including the tip credit; if employees are tipped less than $3.75 per hour, the employer must make up the difference. For service employees in restaurants who receive tips (other than wait staff, bartenders, captains, and bussing staff), the minimum wage is $5.65, with a tip credit of $3.10 per hour.
UPDATES TO THE NEW YORK STATE WAGE THEFT PREVENTION ACT (“WTPA”) FOR ALL EMPLOYERS
Finally, Governor Cuomo has signed into law a modification in the State’s Wage Theft Prevention Act (“WTPA”). That Act, adopted in 2010, requires employers to notify all employees of their rates of pay, whether they are paid on an hourly basis or salary basis, whether they are eligible for overtime, and what the regular pay day is, among other pieces of information.
The WTPA also provides penalties for employers who retaliate against employees who complain about not being paid properly. The State Department of Labor’s Fact Sheet on the WTPA is located at http://www.labor.ny.gov/formsdocs/wp/P715.pdf.
As originally adopted, the WTPA required the notice be given at the time of hire AND every year before February 1. The law will go into effect in early March, but the Governor’s signing statement indicates that there is already an agreement in place to adopt an amendment repealing the annual notice requirement immediately, so employers will not have to send those notices in January 2015. The Department of Labor has already announced it will not require the annual notices in anticipation of the change in the law at http://www.labor.ny.gov/workerprotection/laborstandards/employer/wage-theft-prevention-act.shtm.