Wage and Hour Law

New York City Attorney Expereinced in Wage and Hours Law Litigation

Wage and hour laws cover minimum wage, overtime, sick leave, vacation leave, severance pay, holiday leave, and jury duty. The federal wage and hour law setting basic standards around the country is the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). However, some states require employers to do more than the minimum provided under the FLSA. States are allowed to be more generous to employees and issue regulations when federal law does not apply to a job situation. Whenever federal and state law conflict, employers need to abide by the standard that is stricter for them. Emre Polat is an experienced New York City wage and hour lawyer who can represent both employers and employees in connection with wage and hour claims. He also is available for people and businesses that need an overtime attorney to assist them during a dispute.

Wage and Hour Laws

Employees may have a claim under wage and hour laws if an employer fails to pay for all hours worked, does not pay for training, gives a bad check, keeps tips, deducts wages other than state or federal taxes, lowers the rate of pay without notifying the employee, charges a worker for being late, fails to pay minimum wage, fails to pay overtime for over 40 hours worked in a workweek, or fails to pay for uniforms. Employees may have claims for unpaid wage supplements when an employer promises vacation pay, sick pay, expenses, holiday pay, or medical reimbursement.

The federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour. In New York City, the minimum wage is $10.50 per hour for companies with 10 or fewer employees, and it is $11 per hour for those with 11 or more employees. The minimum wage is $10 per hour in Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester Counties, and in the rest of the state, it is $9.70 per hour. However, fast food workers and tipped workers have different hourly rates, which stay in effect until the end of 2017. As of the start of 2017, $8.44 per hour is the minimum wage in New Jersey.

Different rules apply to tipped employees, such as restaurant servers or bartenders, depending on the law that applies. A wage and hour attorney in New York City can provide advice for your specific case. In New Jersey, an employee's total earnings are supposed to equal at least the minimum wage per hour. While the hourly rate is up to the employer, the law suggests a minimum of $2.13 per hour. When the hourly rate plus tips does not equal at least the minimum wage ($8.44), the employer must make up the difference.

Workers who suffer from wage and hour violations, such as not being paid minimum wage, may file a claim with the Department of Labor. The Department may collect or enforce claims for unpaid wages, withheld wages, appropriated tips, illegal deductions, and illegal kickbacks. When an employer agrees to pay a benefit or wage supplement, such as paid sick leave, expense reimbursement, or vacation pay, it may also investigate and try to collect those claims. The Department may bring a court case on behalf of aggrieved employees to recover wages that are owed, and if there is a finding of willful actions by an employer, an added 25% may be awarded on top of what is owed.

Moreover, workers may also sue in state court for unpaid wages. In New York, a damages award may include unpaid wages, an additional 100% for willful violations, attorneys' fees, and litigation costs.

Consult a Dedicated Wage and Hour Lawyer in New York City

All employees have the right to be paid according to legal requirements. Employers may need to pay significant sums for wage and hour violations. An aggressive New York City wage and hour attorney can make sure that your rights are protected. Emre Polat is an experienced attorney in New York and New Jersey who has worked in countless matters recovering wages for employees. He represents employees and employers in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island, as well as in Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester Counties and in New Jersey. Call us at (212) 480-4500 or submit our online form to set up an appointment. We also can represent clients who need a discrimination attorney or assistance in other employment disputes.