Changes enacted in the state of New York have already raised minimum wages for workers in our area and are expected to have a significant impact on local and statewide economic conditions in 2017 and beyond. On December 31, 2016, increases signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo increased minimum wages throughout the state to $9.70 per hour.
Some Localities See Even Greater Changes
The plan instituted by Governor Cuomo includes some specific changes for municipalities and regions within New York State. Long Island and Westchester County have both raised the minimum wage to $10 per hour. In New York City, the minimum wage was increased to $11 per hour. Employees of small businesses in the Big Apple, however, will see a slightly smaller increase; the minimum wage for these employees is $10.50 per hour.
Higher than the National Minimum
Since July 2009, the federal minimum wage has been set at $7.25 per hour. The states, however, can set higher minimum wages than this federally mandated wage floor. The high cost of living in certain urban areas may spur legislation to increase these wage rates in some area.
Some Employees Not Eligible for Minimum Wage
Waiters, hostesses and certain other service personnel who make a significant portion of their income from tips are generally exempted from the federal and state minimum wage requirements and can be paid a significantly lower amount per hour. If these employees do not receive adequate tips to compensate for the lower wage, however, the employer may be required to make up the difference to ensure a minimum wage for staff members.
Federal Contractors Entitled to a Higher Minimum Wage
Recent legislation enacted by the Department of Labor requires that employees of companies that hold federal contracts must be paid a higher minimum wage, which currently is set at $10.20 per hour. These new minimum wage regulations went into effect at the start of 2017.
At Risman & Risman, we provide the most comprehensive employment law services in New York. If you have been underpaid by your employer, we can provide you with the assertive and effective representation you need to achieve fair compensation. Call us today at 212-233-6400 to set up your free initial consultation. We look forward to the chance to serve your legal needs.