New York Minimum Wage Attorneys • FLSA Cases
Under federal law, employees classified as “nonexempt” under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) must be paid a minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. What does it mean to be nonexempt? In general, work that involves creative discretion, inventiveness or strategic judgment is “exempt” from the requirements of the FLSA. As a result, exempt employees are typically salaried and do not receive an hourly wage. Consequently, exempt employees are not eligible for overtime pay if they work more than 40 hours a week. However, nonexempt employees — employees engaged in routine, repetitive types of tasks that do not involve creative discretion — must be paid at least the minimum wage and, if they work more than 40 hours a week, they must be paid overtime pay. Unfortunately, some employers misclassify nonexempt employees as exempt, misapply tip credits or simply refuse to pay eligible employees the minimum wage.
At the New York law office of Leeds, Morelli & Brown, PC, our employment law attorneys have represented hospitality workers in the catering, restaurant, bartending, hotel and cruise line businesses in minimum wage violation cases. We’ve recovered millions of dollars for employees denied tips, gratuities and overtime pay.
If your employer has misclassified you as “exempt” or won’t pay you minimum wage, contact our FLSA violation attorneys today to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.
Hospitality Workers and the Minimum Wage — What Does the Law Say?
Under 29 U.S.C. § 206, nonexempt employees engaged in interstate commerce must be paid a minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. New York Labor Law — under § 652 — also requires the payment of a minimum wage in conformity with the federally mandated rate. Since most hospitality industry workers receive tips in the course of their work, an employer can use the tips earned to bring an employee up to the minimum wage rate. However, there are certain limitations that apply that allow employers in the hospitality industry to pay employees less than $7.25 an hour.
For example, under the FLSA, employers can pay a qualified employee $2.13 an hour if the tips earned are enough to bring the employee up to $7.25 an hour. Further, according to the Hospitality Wage Order, service employees who receive tips must be paid at least $5.65 an hour and food service workers must be paid at least $5.00 an hour. In both cases, however, the employer must use the amount collected in tips to bring the employee up to $7.25 an hour.
For example, suppose a restaurant pays a waiter $7.25 an hour. On average, the waiter makes $5.00 an hour in tips. Under the tip credit provision, the restaurant can lower the waiter’s hourly wage to $2.25 an hour. Here, the restaurant effectively uses the waiter’s tips to bring him or her up to the mandated federal minimum of $7.25 an hour. In this way, certain employers in the hospitality industry can use a tip credit to avoid paying a straight $7.25 an hour.
Contact New York FLSA Attorneys at Leeds, Morelli & Brown, PC
If you believe your employer has wrongfully denied you minimum wage, contact New York FLSA attorneys at Leeds, Morelli & Brown, PC, today to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case and learn how we can help you.
Located in New York City, as well as Nassau County, the attorneys at Leeds Morelli & Brown, PC offer high quality legal services and representation to clients throughout the five boroughs of Manhattan, including Wall Street, Midtown Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx and Staten Island; and throughout Nassau and Suffolk counties on Long island, including the Northshore, the Southshore, and cities such as Garden City, Carle Place, Hempstead, Mineola, Melville, Westbury, Hicksville, Levittown, Freeport, Massapequa, Valley Stream, Long Beach, Glen Cove, Syosset, Huntington, Bayside, Forest Hills, Manhasset, Whitestone, Commack, Brentwood and Riverhead, New York. Leeds Morelli & Brown also extends its practice throughout all the counties of Nassau and Suffolk County, which includes the East end of Long Island, as well as to The Hamptons.