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New York Minimum Wage and White Collar Exemption Threshold Will Increase Again at Year’s End Here's what employers need to know

New Minimum Wage

When the New York State minimum wage increases on December 31, the minimum salary level an employee must be paid to be considered exempt will also increase.  The first round of increases went into effect last December, and are all set to rise again.  In some parts of the state, these increases continue annually until 2021. Eventually the minimum wage is set to go up to $15 per hour statewide.

Review your payroll records to determine if any employees are earning less than minimum wage so that the wages of these employees can be adjusted to at least the new minimum wage rate no later than December 31. 

How it works

Covered employees must be paid not less than the specified minimum wage per hour for all hours worked.  In accordance with state regulations, any increase in the federal minimum wage to a rate that is higher than the NYS minimum wage will automatically result in the same increase in the state minimum wage. 

There are different minimum wage rates for the fast food industry, Long Island, Westchester County, and large and small employers in New York City.  Below is a list of the current minimum wage and upcoming increases for each category. 

Location

12/31/16

12/31/17

12/31/18

12/31/19

12/31/20

2021*

NYC - Large Employers (11 or more employees)

$11.00

$13.00

$15.00

 

 

 

NYC - Small Employers (10 or fewer employees)

$10.50

$12.00

$13.50

$15.00

 

 

Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester Counties

$10.00

$11.00

$12.00

$13.00

$14.00

$15.00

Employers in the Remainder of New York State

$9.70

$10.40

$11.10

$11.80

$12.50

*

General Minimum Wage Rate Schedule


* Annual increases for the rest of the state will continue until the rate reaches $15 minimum wage (and $10 tipped wage). Starting 2021, the annual increases will be published by the Commissioner of Labor on or before October 1. They will be based on percentage increases determined by the Director of the Division of Budget, based on economic indices, including the Consumer Price Index.

Minimum Wage – Fast Food* Workers

The basic minimum hourly rate for fast food employees shall be: 

Date

New York City

Rest of State

12/31/2016

$12.00

$10.75

12/31/2017

$13.50

$11.75

12/31/2018

$15.00

$12.75

12/31/2019

$15.00

$13.75

12/31/2020

$15.00

$14.50

7/01/2021

$15.00

$15.00

* Fast Food Establishment is any business that meets the following criteria:

Primarily serves food or drinks, including coffee shops, juice bars, donut shops, and ice cream parlors; and offers limited service where customers order and pay before eating, including restaurants with tables but without full table service and places that only provide take-out service; and is part of a chain of 30 or more locations, including individually-owned establishments associated with a brand that has 30 or more locations nationally. For the full definition please refer to 12 NYCRR § 146-3.13.

NEW YORK WHITE COLLAR EXEMPTION SALARY THRESHOLD

While the original federal white collar exemption threshold increase was overturned, New York still has its own set of scheduled increases to be considered exempt from overtime.

New York's regulations apply different requirements across the state based on geography and employer size as seen in the table below: 

 

Employers outside NYC, Westchester,
Nassau & Suffolk Counties

Employers in New York City 
(over 11 employees/10 or under employees)

Employers in Westchester, 
Nassau & Suffolk Counties

12/31/2016     

$727.50 per week

$825 per week/$787.50 per week

$750 per week

12/31/2017

$780 per week

$975 per week/$900 per week

$825 per week

12/31/2018

$832 per week

$1,125 per week/1,012.50 per week

$900 per week

12/31/2019

$885 per week

No Change/$1,125 per week

$975 per week

12/31/2020

$937.50 per week

No Change/No Change

$1,050 per week

12/31/2021

No Change

No Change/No Change

$1,125 per week

Current rules state that certain employees are exempt from overtime regulations if they work more than forty hours per week (these include, but aren't limited to exemptions for administrative, executive, and professional employees). One important factor in determining who is and isn’t exempt from overtime is salary threshold. If an employer currently has employees who qualify as exempt from overtime under the administrative or executive exemptions but make less than the new threshold they would be considered non-exempt going forward and would become eligible for overtime.

 If you have any questions contact us or submit the form below.


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