The New Year brings in slightly increased minimum wage and minimum salary requirements for employers in New York state, as well as the much anticipated Paid Family Leave law. Proposed regulations likely to be adopted on “call-in pay” for employees in certain industries will also likely take effect in early January 2018.

Minimum Wage Increases

New York’s minimum wage is scheduled to increase every year until reaching the Department of Labor’s goal of a $15.00 statewide minimum wage. Given the wide range of wages across New York, the annual increases in minimum wage are tied to an employer’s size and location within the state. The minimum wage increases for 2018 are listed as follows:

The minimum wage increases for 2018 are listed as follows:

Location Minimum Wage Effective 12/31/2017
New York City (Employers with more than 10 employees) $13.00 per hour
New York City (Employers with 10 or fewer employees) $12.00 per hour
Nassau, Suffolk, & Westchester Counties $11.00 per hour
Remainder of New York State $10.40 per hour

 

 

Increased Salary Thresholds to Meet Executive and Administrative Exemptions

Along with the increases to minimum wage, employers should also be aware of slightly increased minimum salary thresholds for employees to meet the “Executive” and “Administrative” exemptions under New York law. Employees who meet New York’s definitions of “Executive” and “Administrative” employees are exempt from state overtime pay requirements.

Like the minimum wage increase, the increases to minimum salary thresholds for these exemptions are tied to an employer’s size and location in the state. Effective December 31, 2017, the minimum salary threshold for most employers is as follows:

Location Salary Threshold To Meet Exemption, Effective 12/31/2017
New York City (Employers with more than 10 employees) $975.00 per week
New York City (Employers with 10 or fewer employees) $900.00 per week
Nassau, Suffolk, & Westchester Counties $825.00 per week
Remainder of New York State $780.00 per week

 

 

New York Paid Family Leave

Apart from the minimum wage and minimum salary threshold increases, virtually all private employers in New York are by now well aware of the state’s new Paid Family Leave Law (“PFL”). Effective January 1, 2018, employees will be entitled to eight weeks of paid leave to: bond with a new child; care for a seriously ill family member; or deal with family exigencies arising from a family member’s deployment to active military service.

Like the wage increases detailed above, Paid Family Leave benefits are slated to increase annually for the next few years. In 2018, employees will be entitled to 8 weeks of job-protected leave, while receiving 50% of their average weekly wage. By the time PFL is fully implemented in 2021, employees will be entitled to 12 weeks of job-protected leave, while receiving 67% of their average weekly wage.

The projected schedule for PFL benefits is as follows:

Year Percent of Average Weekly Wage Amount of Time Off
2018 50% 8 Weeks
2019 55% 10 Weeks
2020 60% 10 Weeks
2021 67% 12 Weeks

 

 

Call-In Pay Regulations

Finally, proposed regulations significantly expanding some employees’ entitlement to “call-in pay” are likely to be adopted in the first or second week of January 2018. The proposed regulations revise the call-in pay requirements of the Minimum Wage Order for Miscellaneous Industries and Occupations to require employers to pay employees “call-in pay” for cancelled shifts and unscheduled shifts. Assuming the regulations are adopted without revision, covered employers will be required to:

  • pay at least four hours of “call-in pay” to any employee who, by request or permission of the employer, reports to work (unless the employee reports for a regularly scheduled shift shorter than four hours and that shift does not change from week to week, then the amount of call-in pay owed to that employee is the number of hours of the regularly scheduled shift.)
  • pay two hours of “call-in pay” to any employee who is requested to work a shift that was not scheduled 14 days or more in advance. (This does not apply to new employees, when a new or additional shift is added, or when an employee volunteers to take on a shift of another employee that otherwise met the 14-day advance scheduling requirement.)
  • pay at least four hours of “call-in pay” to any employee whose shift is cancelled within 72 hours of its scheduled start (unless the employee was regularly scheduled to work a shift shorter than four hours and that shift does not change from week to week, then the amount of call-in pay owed to that employee is the number of hours of the regularly scheduled shift.)
  • pay at least four hours of “call-in pay” to any employee who is required to call in to the employer within 72 hours of the start of the shift to confirm whether to report to work.

Notably, with respect to the portion of “call-in pay” required when an employee does not report to work, “call-in pay” under the new regulations would still be calculated at the basic minimum hourly rate. Also, consistent with existing New York Department of Labor enforcement policy, call-in pay requirements, other than for reporting to work, would not apply in non-overtime weeks where an employee earns more than 40 times the hourly minimum wage. In addition, the proposed regulations exclude employees covered by a valid collective bargaining agreement that expressly provides for call-in pay.

Employers should carefully review the final regulations when they become available.