New York Minimum Wage Increases
Minimum wage is the lowest wage permitted by law or by a special agreement (such as one with a labor union). There is a federal minimum wage and a state minimum wage. Minimum wage rates can differ based on industry, region and business size. The state minimum wage controls if greater than federal. Current, federal minimum wage is $7.25/hour. See U.S. Department of Labor,Topic,Wages(last visited November 15, 2019).
New York’s state minimum wages exceed the federal minimum and even more changes are coming in 2020.
The Chart at the following link, provided by New York Department of State, shows 2019 and 2020 minimum wage rates by location for most workers. See NY Department of State, NY Minimum Wage. https://www.ny.gov/new-york-states-minimum-wage/new-york-states-minimum-wage (last visited November 15, 2019).
Rates are increasing for NYC Employers with ten or fewer employees, and for employers outside the city.
New York City employers with 10 or fewer employees were paying $13.50 as minimum wage as of December 31, 2018. But, as of December 31, 2019, minimum wage for these employers is rising to $15.00, which is the same rate paid by large employers as well during 2020
- For Employers in Long Island and Westchester, minimum wage is rising from $12.00/hour to $13.00/hour.
- For Employers in the remainder of New York State, minimum wage is rising from $11.10 to $11.80/hour.
What Can Employers Do?
- Evaluate who is paid minimum wage and increase the rate on or before 12/31/2019 if required by law.
- Provide notice to the Employee of the wage increase via the paystub or a New York State Department of Labor Model Notice. See New York State Department of Labor, Worker Protection, Model Notices https://labor.ny.gov/formsdocs/wp/ellsformsandpublications.shtm
An employer that violates the Minimum Wage Law is subject to criminal prosecution and penalties. Action may also be taken in civil court.
The Commissioner of Labor may require an employer to pay:
- Minimum wage underpayments and liquidated damages, PLUS
- Interest and civil penalties, including liquidated damages, totalling up to 200% of the unpaid wages
See NY Department of Labor, Worker Protection, Collection of Wages, https://www.labor.ny.gov/workerprotection/laborstandards/workprot/collwage.shtm (last visited November 14, 2019).
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New York State Department of Labor:
Model Notice of Pay Rate
Collection of Wages
(last visited November 14, 2019).