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Can I Sue My Employer For Overtime Pay In New York?

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The short answer is yes, but it’s important to consider whether you’re entitled to overtime pay. In New York, the laws are written in favor of the employee concerning pay, hours and the ability to receive overtime. Don’t assume you may not have a case because you didn’t write down the hours you worked or kept a record of your pay. The burden to provide records of your hours and pay falls on your employer in the State of New York, and you may sue your employer for missed wages up to six years after the payment was due. 

Similarly, don’t assume you can’t sue for missed wages because you’re a salaried employee. Exemptions under New York law are rare and specific; unless you meet the requirements, you may still be able to receive time and a half for any time worked over 40 hours in a work week. 

Those Who May Be Exempt

The three most common exemptions to New York’s overtime pay laws include people who are executives, people who are considered learned professionals and people who work in an administrative capacity. 

In order to be considered an executive, you must have the authority to hire and fire employees and you should be charge of two or more full-time employees. To be considered a learned professional, you should be working in a job that requires an advanced degree. Common examples include doctors, lawyers, psychiatrists, and other professionals with an extensive education. 

Finally, to be exempt as an administrative employee, you should in a position doing something other than what the business makes money doing. For example, if you’re in the marketing department, accounting department, or the IT department you may be exempt if you have the authority to make decisions that could financially impact the business. If not, you may not be exempt. 

Other Employment Laws

New York’s labor laws specify the amount of rest time and payment that employers must provide to their employees. Along with overtime pay, employers must provide their employees with a minimum of 24 consecutive hours of rest during the calendar week and many employers are required to provide workers with at least 30 minutes for a noonday meal. In addition, employers must adhere to guidelines for breaks, vacation time, sick time and more. 

Labor laws differ between industries, and a lawyer can also help you understand what to expect from your employer and if you may be exempt. If you are a nonexempt worker and your employer has denied you overtime pay, rest time or other benefits, your attorney can also help you determine if you have a case.

Disclaimer: The answer is intended to be for informational purposes only. It should not be relied on as legal advice, nor construed as a form of attorney-client relationship.

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