New York Salaried Employees Laws

January 29th 2024

Salaried employees are individuals who receive a predetermined fixed amount of compensation at regular intervals, such as weekly or less frequently. These employees are subject to specific regulations that govern their working conditions.

The purpose of this article is to present an outline of the pertinent laws and regulations that define the rights and obligations of both salaried employees and their employers in New York. It will encompass various facets, including payment procedures, break and leave privileges, along with the classification of exempt and non-exempt employees.

This article covers:

Payment of Wages for Salaried Employees in New York

New York employers are bound by a requirement outlined in Section 191 of the state’s statutes that specifies the frequency of employee wage disbursement. The obligation varies based on the nature of the employees’ roles, and it’s important to highlight that this regulation does not encompass employers in federal, state, and local government sectors. Frequently, employers may need to establish payment schedules and obtain approvals from their employees, ensuring that these processes are followed as required.

For your convenience, we’ve developed a comprehensive table delineating the precise payment schedules for different professions. This resource aims to eliminate ambiguity and ensure a transparent comprehension of the requirements:

Employee Type Payment Frequency
Manual Workers Wages must be paid on a weekly basis and not later than seven days after the end of the week in which the wages are earned. Nonprofit manual workers must be paid based on their agreed-upon employment terms but not less frequently than twice a month. Large employers of manual workers may apply to pay manual workers semi-monthly through the Commissioner of Labor.
Railroad Workers Employers must pay their employees on or before Thursday of each week. The wages paid must include the wages earned during the seven-day period that ended on the Tuesday of the previous week. 
Commission Salespersons Employers must pay wages to employees based on the written commission agreement. Wages must be paid at least once a month. However, if wages are substantial, extra, or incentive earnings, they may be paid less frequently than once a month. Wages must be paid not later than the last day of the month following the month in which wages are earned.
Executives, Admins, Professionals Individuals employed in a bona fide executive, administrative, or professional capacity, who earn more than $900 a week, are exempt from the regulations outlined in Section 191.
Clerical or Other Workers Employers must pay wages to their employees based on the agreed-upon employment terms and no less frequently than twice a month.

Salaried Employees Eligibility for Overtime for New York

Certain salaried employees in New York can potentially receive overtime pay, despite the exemption of executive, administrative, and professional employees from overtime regulations when they meet certain criteria.

Non-exempt salaried employees qualify for overtime pay if they exceed 40 hours of work per week. This entails receiving 1.5 times the pay for any hours beyond the 40-hour mark. Notably, only regular payments factor into overtime calculations, excluding premiums, expenses, gifts, or specific bonuses (such as those for weekend or holiday work).

The overtime law doesn’t extend to government employers and workers at the federal, state, or local levels, but it does cover non-profit organizations, private schools, charter schools, and teachers in school districts. For residential workers or those whose roles involve their employer’s premises, overtime eligibility triggers after 44 weekly hours. While New York labor laws don’t mandate overtime for holidays or night shifts, employers have the discretion to provide such payments, following standard overtime regulations.

Pay for Working Overtime for New York Salaried Employees

Accurately tracking work hours can be highly significant in determining the overtime rate for salaried employees. The scope of hours constituting the standard workweek for an employee primarily impacts the rate of overtime compensation.

For instance, consider an employee contracted to work 45 hours weekly at a standard salary of $405. In this scenario, the standard pay rate is computed by dividing the weekly wage of $405 by the 45 hours worked, yielding an hourly rate of $9.00.

The overtime rate for this employee is consequently established at $13.50 per hour ($9.00 as the regular hourly rate plus an additional $4.50 as supplementary hourly pay). Thus, the employee is entitled to $13.50 for the extra 5 hours worked beyond the customary 40-hour workweek.

While these calculations might appear complex, contemporary employers have options like using a timesheet app, monitoring time and attendance, or even employing overtime compliance software to make these computations more straightforward and efficient.

Exceptions to Overtime Exemptions for New York Salaried Employees

The overtime rate is governed by a combination of federal and state exceptions as outlined in New York state legislation. The extensive roster of exceptions, delineated in Section 651, can be intricate to navigate.

Here are some of the most notable exceptions and exemptions to the overtime rate in New York State:

  • Executive, administrative, and learned and creative professionals who earn a minimum of $1,125 per week
  • Outside sales professionals
  • Farm laborers
  • Volunteers, interns, and apprentices
  • Taxicab drivers
  • Employees of religious and charitable organizations
  • Camp counselors
  • Part-time babysitters
  • Employees of student organizations, such as fraternities, sororities, and faculty associations

It’s vital to be aware that these exemptions may change over time, so it’s advisable to regularly check for updates to the law.

Violation of Salaried Employees Wages Payment in New York

The New York Wage Theft Prevention Act, enacted in 2011, safeguards workers against wage theft. According to this legislation, employers are required to furnish written wage notifications and pay stubs.

In cases of wage theft, employees are eligible for remedies such as back pay, damages, and penalties. Employers found in violation of the NY Wage Theft Prevention Act will face a range of penalties and sanctions. Failure to furnish written wage notifications and pay stubs to the workforce could result in a fine of up to $10,000 per employee. In instances where employers neglect to provide written wage notices, a penalty of $50 per day for each day the notice is withheld may be imposed, up to a maximum of $5,000 per employee. Similarly, failing to provide pay stubs carries a penalty of up to $5,000 per employee.

The Act also enforces more severe penalties for repeat offenses, with fines reaching up to $20,000 for employers who have violated the law within the last six years.

Male and Female Salaried Employees in New York

According to state regulations, employees hold the entitlement to receive equal compensation for work that is substantially similar, regardless of factors such as age, race, creed, color, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, military status, sex, disability, genetic history, familial status, marital status, or domestic violence victim status.

The determination of substantial similarity is influenced by the skill, effort, and responsibility demanded by the work, along with the conditions under which the work is carried out.

Disparities in payment are permissible when rooted in seniority, merit, quantity or quality of production, or factors apart from your protected class, such as your sex or race. These additional factors can include education, training, or experience.

Leave Entitlements for Salaried Employees in New York

In New York, salaried employees have access to several types of leave. Sick Leave, effective since April 3, 2020, mandates paid sick leave for employers with 5 or more employees or a net income of $1 million or more. Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) allows up to 12 unpaid weeks for various situations, and state laws provide additional benefits, requiring 26 weeks of employment. Jury Duty Leave is required, and while payment isn’t mandated, smaller employers may retain employee salaries. Voting Leave offers 2 paid hours for voting under specific conditions. Witness and Crime Victim Leave shields employees called to testify in criminal cases. Emergency Response Leave caters to critical roles during emergencies. Time Off for Organ or Bone Marrow Donation ensures up to 7 paid days for bone marrow and 30 days for organ donation, with employer notification required. Military Leave under the State FMLA provides financial support during active duty, with job security and health insurance protection. To access this, a portion of weekly wages is contributed to the Family Leave for Military Service program.

Break Entitlements for Salaried Employees in New York

In New York State, a “day of rest” regulation mandates that certain employees must have a full 24-hour rest period within a calendar week. Employers can seek an exemption from this requirement, subject to specific conditions and approval.

Regarding New York’s meal break laws, both private and public employees are entitled to meal breaks based on their occupation, classified into three groups as per Section 162 of the state labor laws:

Factory workers: They should have a 60-minute meal break during the first morning shift, preferably between 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. If their shift starts between 1:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. and they’ve worked for at least 6 hours, the break should be midway through the shift.

Non-factory workers: During the first shift, they’re entitled to a 30-minute lunch break, while midway breaks must last 45 minutes.

All workers: An additional 20-minute break between 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. is required if their workday starts before 11:00 a.m. and extends past 7:00 p.m.

Employers can request to shorten meal breaks under exceptional circumstances, with potential approval from the Commissioner of Labor and Industry due to undue hardship or special cases. While employers can choose to pay for meal break time, it’s not mandatory work time. If employees work during a meal break, it must be compensated as work time.

Deductions from Exempt Employees’ Salary in New York

Employers are strictly prohibited from making deductions from wages. However, they have the authority to carry out deductions from wages if they align with the laws, rules, or regulations set forth by governmental agencies. These deductions encompass various scenarios, such as recovering overpayments, repaying salary advances, and adhering to pre-tax contribution plans approved by the IRS. Additionally, deductions can be made for wage garnishments and levies related to child support and taxes, even if they are involuntary, as long as they adhere to the statutes and regulations governing them. Hence, it’s crucial to calculate deductions and breaks to steer clear of penalties.

Termination of Employment for Salaried Employees in New York

When discussing employment termination, New York adheres to the “employment-at-will” doctrine, a widely accepted principle in many US states. Under this doctrine, employers have the right to terminate employees within legal boundaries. However, specific groups of employees are shielded by “protected contracts,” often provided by labor unions, safeguarding them against unjustifiable termination. 

Furthermore, termination can be deemed unlawful in certain circumstances, including cases involving discrimination based on personal characteristics, reporting illegal activities in certain contexts, engaging in legitimate political activities, filing a disability claim, or taking state-mandated leaves of absence.

Turning to the matter of final wage payments, two distinct scenarios emerge. In legal terminations, any outstanding wages are required to be remunerated on the usual payday. In cases where in-person collection is not feasible, employees retain the right to request the payment to be sent by mail, which the employer must accommodate. In situations of voluntary resignation, the norm is to offer a two-week notice for contract termination, with wages distributed on the regular payday. Here are more details on Termination Laws in New York.

Learn more about New York Labor Laws through our detailed guide.

Important Cautionary Note

When making this guide we have tried to make it accurate but we do not give any guarantee that the information provided is correct or up-to-date. We therefore strongly advise you seek advice from qualified professionals before acting on any information provided in this guide. We do not accept any liability for any damages or risks incurred for use of this guide.