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Consequences of not being compliant with wage laws

New York employers face the additional burden of complying with New York State’s wage and hour laws.  Like the Fair Labor Standards Act, the New York State Labor Law sanctions employers for not paying time and a half for all hours worked over 40 hours in a week and awards liquidated damages in many circumstances. Both also award attorneys fees to the employee if the employee’s claim succeeds.   Liquidated damages are typically the same amount as the unpaid wage, in effect doubling the amount due as damages.  But the New York Labor Law collects more than the Fair Labor Standards Act.

The New York law has a six-year statute of limitations on an unpaid wage claim, which makes the amount for which an employer is liable under the State law more than twice as much as it might be liable for under the federal statute.

The NYS Labor Law also punishes more conduct than the FLSA.  The State law requires employers to pay for a “spread of hours.” A spread is the time between when an employee starts a workday and ends a workday.

The spread includes time spent off-duty or time spent on lunch or other breaks. If a spread( the time worked plus the time not worked) exceeds 10 hours, an employer must generally pay an additional hour at the minimum wage rate.  Such a spread commonly exists where employees are asked to work split shifts on the same day. A split shift is defined as any shifts separated by more than one hour. The state law also awards penalties for failing to comply with the state’s notice and posting requirements, among other things.

All of this is really complicated.  Employers that have questions about the Fair Labor Standards Act or its New York State counterpart should consult competent counsel, like EGAN LAW FIRM. Failure to adhere to both state and federal wage laws at any time could result in a company shutting its doors after fines and other penalties are calculated.

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