Workers often feel as if they are at the mercy of their employers. Whether New York employees have concerns about compensation, vacation time or working conditions, few bring their worries to their employer's attention out of fear of retaliation. However, when it comes to wage and hour laws, employers must follow state and federal guidelines.
Minimum wage can be a tricky topic. Although most employees are considered covered and nonexempt, and therefore are legally entitled to at least $7.25 per hour, there are some situations in which a worker might legally earn less. Wage and hour laws are complicated, though, and some employers intentionally take advantage of this to convince a worker that he or she may legally be paid less than the worker is entitled to.
Most -- but not all -- tipped employees receive less than the minimum hourly wage. This is because tips may be counted as part of their wages, allowing employers to pay only $2.13 per hour. Employers must tell their workers in advance if they will be paid the lower minimum wage to be padded by tips, and they must also provide additional wages when tips do not help workers meet the minimum hourly wage.
Even if being treated unfairly, workers in New York may feel that some wages are better than no wages. Violations of wage and hour laws can actually have profoundly negative impacts on a person's life, and may prevent the worker from paying bills in a timely manner, maintaining a place to live or providing for his or her family. Most victims of improper compensation can seek necessary and just recourse from their employers by pursuing a carefully documented claim.
Source: FindLaw, "Federal Wage Law: The Fair Labor Standards Act", Accessed on Nov. 27, 2017