As New York joins 13 other states that will see minimum wage rate increases take effect in 2014, employers must be aware of how these increases will affect not only hourly pay rates, but also other components of compensation.
Effective December 31, 2013, New York’s minimum wage increased from $7.25 to $8.00 per hour. By December 31, 2015, New York’s minimum wage will increase to $9.00 per hour. With the start of the year, New Jersey’s minimum wage rose to $8.25 per hour, and Connecticut’s to $8.70 per hour.
Pursuant to the wage and hour regulations established by the New York State Department of Labor (“NYSDOL”), any compensation requirement tied to the minimum wage, including split shift and spread of hours pay and call-in pay rates, will rise with the rate increase. Employers should also keep an eye out for the NYSDOL’s new industry-specific Minimum Wage Orders, which address how the increase affects meal and lodging credits, uniform maintenance rates, and cash wage and tip credits for employees working in various industries. It is crucial to note that New York has also increased the minimum weekly salary needed to qualify for the executive and administrative exemptions under state law. Beginning December 31, 2013, employees must earn at least $600 per week (exclusive of lodging and other allowances) to fall under these exemptions to state overtime requirements.
Updated minimum wage posters (which all employers are required to post), revised minimum wage orders, and summary wage schedules are available on the NYSDOL’s website. To the extent they have not already done so, employers should immediately audit their wage and payroll practices to ensure compliance with the new minimum wage rates.