New Year Brings New Wage Laws

Employment and Labor Law Tip of the Month

Effective December 31, 2018, New York employers will be subject to changes to both the state-mandated minimum wage and certain overtime exemption criteria. Specifically, as a prerequisite to availing themselves of either the “executive” or “administrative” overtime exemptions, New York City employers with 11 or more employees (“Large Employers”) must presently pay would-be exempt employees a weekly salary of at least $975, i.e., $50,700 annually. The salary threshold for “Small Employers”—those with 10 or fewer employers in New York City—is presently $900 per week, i.e., $46,800 annually. As of December 31, however, these thresholds will increase to $1,125 per week ($58,500 per year) for Large Employers and $1,012.50 per week ($52,650 per year) for Small Employers. Employers in Long Island, Westchester and the remainder of New York State are also subject to specified salary thresholds. Moreover, effective December 31, the New York City minimum wage will increase to $15.00 per hour and $13.50 per hour for Large Employers and Small Employers, respectively. Importantly, tip, meal, boarding, and other allowances will increase accordingly. In view of these substantial changes, employers must promptly review their payroll practices and, in particular, closely assess whether presently-exempt employees can or will continue to be treated as exempt, either with or without modifications to their compensation.