NY DOL Increases Minimum Wage and Salary Thresholds for Exempt Employees

On December 28, 2016, the New York Department of Labor (“NY DOL”) issued regulations increasing both minimum wage rates and the minimum salary thresholds for exempt executives and administrators. In New York City, the minimum hourly wage is $11 for employers with at least 11 employees and $10.50 for employers with up to 10 employees. The salary threshold for exempt executives and administrators, which is calculated as 75 times the minimum wage, similarly increased. In New York City, the exempt salary threshold increased to $825 per week (or $42,900 annually) for employers with at least 11 employees and $787.50 per week (or $40,950 annually) for employers with up to 10 employees. These changes became effective December 31, 2016. Minimum wage rates and exempt salary thresholds vary by employer location and size and will increase over time; different requirements apply in the fast food industry and to tipped employees. For more information, visit the NY DOL website and its “Miscellaneous Industry” wage order summary.

Payment of Wages by Direct Deposit

On September 7, 2016, the NY DOL issued final rules on Methods of Wage Payment, effective March 1, 2017. These rules will require New York employers who pay wages other than by cash or check to notify workers in writing of the options for wage payment methods, that the employer cannot require employees to accept wages by direct deposit, and that the employee may not be charged any fees to access their full wages.  Employers must also obtain written informed consent from employees to accept payment of wages via direct deposit. The notice and consent may be provided and obtained electronically if the employee is able to view and print them at work without cost and is notified of this through the electronic process.  The NY DOL will soon be providing notice and consent templates for employers to use.