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Overtime Pay & Minimum Wage

NY Overtime Pay: The fact of the matter is, most employees are entitled to receive overtime pay, which is one and one half their regular rate of pay for all hours that they work in excess of forty (40) hours in a workweek. The exception to this general rule is when an employee qualifies for an exemption under applicable law. The governing laws in this respect are the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the New York Labor Law (NYLL). The FLSA and NYLL provide that an employee is entitled to overtime pay in NY for all hours worked in excess of forty (40) in most instances.  One of the exemptions that an employer may claim an employee meets is the executive exemption. To qualify for this exemption an employee must receive at least $455 per week; the employee's job duty must be managing the enterprise, or managing a customarily recognized department or subdivision of the enterprise; the employee must direct the work of at least two (2) or more full time employees AND the employee must have the authority to hire or fire other employees. It is important to note that simply because you are paid a salary as opposed to hourly, DOES NOT mean that you shouldn't get overtime pay. If you are paid a salary and work more that forty (40) hour per workweek, you should talk to an overtime lawyer to investigate your rights.

New York Overtime Lawyer: Don't be fooled! A NY Overtime Lawyer will tell you that relatively sophisticated employers of all sizes all the way up to the largest, most sophisticated employers around often misclassify employees and tell them they're "exempt" and not entitled to receive overtime pay in New York. One of the ways the employer will try to trick the hard working, unsuspecting employee is by giving them a fancy, important sounding title, like Assistant Manager, Team Leader or Asset Protection Coach. But a fancy title does not replace the money you're entitled to for your hard work. Your employer would rather have the money and so they try to trick you by giving you a fancy title, a pat on the back and a plaque commemorating your hard work and commitment rather than overtime pay. As such, the employer implicitly admits that money and profits is most important to them, the employer.

Sometimes, employers will pay their hourly employees in a separate check, from a different account than their payroll processor account, for hours that the employee works on a weekend day or for hours that the worker works past 40 hours in a week.

More Scams: Your employer may try to cheat you out of minimum wages and overtime pay by telling you that you're an independent contractor and therefore not entitled to minimum wage and overtime pay premiums for time worked beyond forty (40) hours in a workweek. Telling an employee that they're an independent contractor when in fact, the employee is an integral and necessary part of the employer's business is another common scam used by employers to avoid paying employees minimum wage, overtime pay, NY unemployment insurance and avoid payroll & other taxes. By mislabeling employees as independent contractors, employers may also deprive workers of many protections the workers would otherwise be entitled to as employees. Some of the more common positions where employers often try to call their employees independent contractors are exotic dancers a/k/a strippers and drivers.  

Restaurant Employees: Restaurant/night club wait staff including bartenders, waitresses, waiters and bar-backs/runners are arguably the hardest working people in NYC. Indisputably, they are what make a great dining experience, great. However, some of the largest (and wealthiest) restaurateurs consistently cheat their staff out of their hard earned and well deserved tips/gratuities. The way in which they do so varies, but an all too common way is to list an "operations fee" or "service charge" on a bill for private parties or banquets and then deny the service staff those monies. In early November, 2014, the Law Firm of Michael J. Redenburg, Esq. PC was contacted by and met with numerous employees and former employees of a very expensive, very large, very profitable and very exclusive NYC restaurateur who allege that they were denied the 20% service charge/operations fee included on a bill given to patrons at very upscale private parties in New York City.  Many cases decided by New York State courts have concluded that such a charge should be properly distributed to the hardworking wait staff including waiters, waitresses and bartenders.

Along with co-counsel, Michael Redenburg has represented hundreds of employees who have filed class action lawsuits against their employers alleging that they have been mislabeled as independent contractors and/or denied minimum wages and/or overtime pay.


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