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New York Minimum Wage and Exempt Employee Salary Thresholds Set to Increase in 2019

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As of December 31, 2018, the New York State minimum wage will increase, together with the salary level thresholds for many employees who are exempt from overtime compensation. As reported in our March 2017 Employment Note, these minimum wage increases were adopted in 2016 by the New York Department of Labor as part of a budget that will incrementally increase the minimum wage every year until it reaches $15.00 per hour. The salary level threshold for exempt administrative and executive employees will also incrementally increase until it reaches $1,125.00 per week, which is equal to an annual salary of $58,500.00.

The applicable minimum wage and exempt employee salary level threshold will vary depending on where an employee performs work within the State and, in New York City only, the size of the employer. New York City employers should calculate their size based on the highest number of (full- or part-time) employees at any given time among all worksites in New York City.

2019 Minimum wage Increases

In 2019, the minimum wage for “large” New York City employers (i.e., with 11 or more employees) will increase from $13.00 per hour to $15.00 per hour, and the minimum wage for smaller New York City employers will increase from $12.00 per hour to $13.50 per hour.

Also in 2019, the minimum wage for employers in Long Island (Nassau and Suffolk Counties) and Westchester will increase from $11.00 per hour to $12.00 per hour, and the minimum wage for employers in the remainder of New York State will increase from $10.40 per hour to $11.10 per hour.

Employers are reminded that these New York minimum wage increases also impact businesses that employ tipped workers who receive a lesser minimum “cash wage.” For more information about how these increases impact businesses that employ tipped workers, including those in the hospitality industry, please refer to our prior Employment Note.

2019 Exempt Employee Salary Threshold Increases

In 2019, the salary level threshold for exempt administrative and executive employees of large New York City employers will increase from $975.00 per week to $1,125.00 per week, and the salary level threshold for exempt administrative and executive employees of small New York City employers will increase from $900.00 per week to $1,012.50 per week.

Also in 2019, the salary level threshold for exempt administrative and executive employees of Long Island and Westchester employers will increase from $825.00 to $900.00 per week, and the salary level threshold for exempt administrative and executive employees of employers in the remainder of New York State will increase from $780.00 per week to $832.00 per week.

Thus, employers may need to raise their employees’ weekly salaries in 2019 to maintain their exemptions from overtime compensation.

Recommended Next Steps

To ensure compliance with New York State law, employers are encouraged to review their current wage rates and payroll practices and determine what increases are appropriate.

This may include making a determination as to whether to raise the weekly salaries of administrative and executive employees, so that they maintain their exemptions from overtime compensation. As always, it is best to consult with an employment attorney or other Human Resources professional to ensure compliance.

Full schedules of increases to the New York State minimum wage and salary level thresholds for exempt administrative and executive employees are available in our March 2017 Employment Note, which can be found at http://www.thsh.com/Publications/Employment-Notes/Complying-with-the-2017-New-York-State-Minimum-W.aspx.

For more information or if you have any questions regarding the topic discussed above, please contact any of Employment Law or Staffing attorneys.

Joel A. Klarreich

212-508-6747

jak@thsh.com

Andrew W. Singer

212-508-6723

singer@thsh.com

Stacey A. Usiak

212-702-3158

usiak@thsh.com

Jason B. Klimpl

212-508-7529

klimpl@thsh.com

Elizabeth E. Schlissel

212-508-6714

schlissel@thsh.com

Marisa B. Sandler

212-702-3164

sandler@thsh.com

Andrew P. Yacyshyn

212-508-6792

yacyshyn@thsh.com

Employment Notes, a newsletter produced by Tannenbaum Helpern Syracuse & Hirschtritt LLP’s Employment Law Department, provides insights on recent employment caselaw, legislation and other legal developments impacting employer policies, human resource strategies and related best practices. To subscribe to the newsletter, email marketing@thsh.com.

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