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Frequently asked questions about overtime laws in NY

On Behalf of | Sep 18, 2017 | Blog

There is often confusion surrounding overtime laws in New York. And recent changes to the wage law leave many wondering about overtime eligibility.

Money is one of life’s biggest stressors which makes overtime a highly sensitive subject for most people. Your employees want to know they’re being fairly compensated. And it’s your jobs as an employer to ensure total compliance with all state and federal employment laws.

See below for answers to the most frequently asked questions on overtime laws.

Who qualifies for overtime?

Most employees who work over 40 hours in a workweek are eligible for overtime. Federal and state requirements for overtime cover any individual employed by an employer in any occupation, excluding the following exempt employees:

  • Taxi driver
  • Outside salespeople
  • Executive, Administrative and Professional employees
  • Government employees
  • Farm laborers
  • Part-time babysitters
  • Members of religious orders
  • Persons working for a sorority, fraternity, student or faculty association
  • Certain interns, apprentices and volunteers
  • Camp counselors

Please note: Residential employees who work over 44 hours in a workweek also qualify and must be paid overtime.

What is the rate for overtime?

Employees must be paid one and a half times their normal hourly rate for each hour of overtime worked (i.e. if you pay an employee a normal wage of $15/hour, their overtime rate would equate to $22.50/hour).

While certain occupations are exempt from federal overtime laws, they are not exempt from state law. Employees who fall under this category must receive an overtime rate of one and a half times the state minimum wage, no matter their regular rate of pay.

Is overtime required for holidays?

The federal and state labor laws do not require employers to pay overtime for holidays. However, if an individual employment contract or your company policy calls for holiday overtime pay, it must be paid and is enforceable by law.

How is a workweek classified?

Most employees must reach 40 hours in a workweek before qualifying for overtime pay. A workweek is classified as seven consecutive 24-hour periods. A workweek does not have to follow a calendar week and can begin on any day of the week.

Is an employee allowed to waive their right to overtime?

No. There are no exceptions to this rule. Do not attempt to bargain with your employees. If they worked over 40 hours in a workweek, they must be compensated accordingly.