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New York City Employment FAQ

Common Questions about Employment Law

At Levine & Blit, PLLC, our New York City employment law attorneys represent clients in a variety of employment disputes. Our attorneys have more than three decades of experience and have earned a reputation as distinguished lawyers for their work on many high profile cases, including several celebrity cases.

Call us at (646) 461-6838 to learn how we can help you with your employment law case today.

Minimum Wage & Overtime

The federal government has set laws for minimum wage and overtime. Many states have a higher minimum wage than the federal minimum wage. Employers are required to abide by the laws when paying employees for their work.

Like many states, New York has been working to increase its minimum wage. The wages in New York are currently higher than the federal minimum wage, though you should keep in mind that not all jobs are covered by minimum wage laws.

Individuals not covered by the law include:

  • Government employees

  • Executives earning more than 75 times minimum wage

  • Outside salespeople

  • Taxi drivers

  • Ministers

  • Volunteers, students, and apprentices

In addition to the above categories, independent contractors who are in business for themselves are not considered to be employees. For this reason, minimum wage law does not apply to independent contractors.

What are the overtime wage rules?

Overtime is based on hours worked in a payroll week. Employees that are not exempt must be paid overtime wages for all hours worked above 40 hours. For covered employees, the hourly rate is one and a half times the employee’s normal hourly wage.

Are employers required to give lunch hours and breaks?

A half hour meal break must be given to employees who work more than six hours beginning before 11 am and work until at least 2 pm. The meal break does not have to be paid. Employers are not required to give other shorter breaks, but if breaks of less than 20 minutes are given, the time should be paid.

How many hours can an employer require employees to work?

There are no limits to the number of hours worked in a day for workers over the age of 18. However, in some occupations, employees must be given 24 hours of rest each week. This includes jobs in factories, restaurants, hotels, watchmen, janitors, and superintendents.

Workplace Discrimination

There are various federal, state, and local laws that prohibit discrimination in the workplace. Our NYC employment lawyers have helped countless in upholding their rights. We understand every facet of the laws. For example, some states have stricter laws than others regarding workplace discrimination. The New York City Human Rights Law is among the country’s most detailed and covers a broad range of discriminatory practices in the workplace.

What constitutes workplace discrimination?

The law protects employees with specific protected characteristics from discrimination in the workplace. This includes prohibiting discrimination based on sex, age, race, disability, sexual orientation, pregnancy, and marital status. The law forbids employers from making employment decisions, such as hiring, promoting, job assignments, and firing, based on these protected characteristics.

Is my employer required to make accommodations for my disability?

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and various state and local laws prohibit discrimination based on a worker’s disability. In addition, employers are required to make reasonable accommodations to allow the employee to perform the functions of the job, as long as the accommodations do not result in an undue burden to the employer, such as extremely high costs or disruptions to the workplace.

How do I know if I have a case?

Our New York City employment law attorneys can help you determine if you have a case against your employer. Our firm offers free case evaluations by telephone, so you can learn about your legal options.

If you have a question that is not answered here or want to request a free evaluation, please contact us at (646) 461-6838.

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