Workers and employers in New York and the rest of the nation should be aware of the effect that a ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit may have on certain lawsuits concerning FLSA violations. Experts believe that the decision may make it more difficult for employers to prevail in some limited circumstances.
Hourly New York employees should be aware that a recent study found that timekeeping software can undermine compliance with federal wage and hour laws. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, employees are protected when it comes to their basic minimum wage and overtime. However, the regulations were last updated back in 1987 when employers were still largely relying on hand-recorded time sheets.
New York employees may be surprised to learn that their employers may be required to compensate them for the time they spend taking breaks or eating their meals. The federal Fair Labor Standards Act provides some guidance with respect to these matters.
Employers in New York and around the country are not allowed to underpay employees based on their gender. If an employer pays higher wages to male employees for doing the same work as female employees, the employer could be violating Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Equal Pay Act of 1963.
On Dec. 1, the exempt overtime salary threshold was supposed to increase from $23,660 to $47,476. However, a judge on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas put its implementation on hold. To comply with these rules, employers in New York and elsewhere in the country had the option of increasing worker salaries above the new limit. They also had the option of reclassifying exempt employees as nonexempt.
Employees and business owners in New York should be aware of one of the important aspects of federal employment law. Wage and hour laws exist to protect employees by addressing situations in which they are not paid fairly for the work they have performed. These laws protect all employees, even if they are undocumented immigrants.
Salaried restaurant employees in New York and around the nation are guaranteed time-and-a-half pay if they earn less than the exemption after working more than 40 hours a week. On Dec. 1, 2016, regulations issued under the Fair Labor Standards Act will approximately double the exepmtion. The rule will raise the overtime threshold from $23,660 per year or $455 per week to $47,500 a year or $913 per week. Restaurant owners are expected to be in full compliance with the regulations.
When employers in New York and other states refuse to pay their workers what they are due, the wronged employees have many options. One potential form of resolution involves filing a confidential report with the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor. This body has the power to perform investigations that help it uphold the rules of the Fair Labor Standards Act . While some fact-finding missions are conducted at the WHD's own discretion and may involve multiple employers or companies, others are prompted by complaints.
As overtime rules are set to be changed, many New Yorkers stand to benefit. The rules, which nearly double the previously set salary threshold of $23,660 annually for overtime pay eligibility, will likely benefit around 6 million U.S. employees.
There are two federal laws that prohibit paying men or women a different salary based on their gender: the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In spite of the fact that these laws were put on the books more than 50 years ago, people are still being paid more or less depending on their gender.