Male Worker In Warehouse Preparing Goods For Dispatch

You may have heard that warehouse employees must be paid weekly in New York, but is this the case? The answer is somewhat complicated. There is no specific law requiring employers to pay every warehouse employee weekly, some warehouse employees may be entitled to receive weekly pay. 

If you are a warehouse employee in New York, you may be entitled to be paid every week. Speaking to an attorney can help you understand your legal rights and options. The employment law attorneys at Lipsky Lowe LLP have an in-depth understanding of New York state and City employment laws. If you have questions about whether your employers comply with New York laws, we are here to help and answer all of your questions. 

When Are Employers Required to Pay Warehouse Employees Weekly?

Several factors come into play when determining when warehouse employees must be paid weekly. Employees who work overtime hours are entitled to be paid for their overtime hours every week. Some employers may have written policies stating that they pay their employees weekly. For example, if an employee handbook or an employee contract states that you should receive payment every week, regardless of how many hours you work or your position, your employers must comply. 

When a union and the union representing you have negotiated weekly pay as part of their contract with your employer, your employer must pay you weekly. Additionally, when warehouse employees are considered manual workers under New York law, they are entitled to receive weekly payments.

What Is New York’s Untimely Wage Payment Law?

Under New York Labor Law (NYLL) Section 191, all manual workers must be paid weekly, and within seven calendar days of the week, the employee must have earned the wages. All private, for-profit employers in New York must comply with this law. This regulation ensures manual workers don’t experience delays in their wage payments. 

Receiving payment on a bi-weekly basis can impose a hardship on manual workers who depend on receiving a weekly income to pay their bills and cover all of their living expenses. The law recognizes that manual workers are an important part of the workforce and should receive a degree of financial security and stability. 

Are Warehouse Employees Considered Manual Workers in New York?

Many warehouse employees will be considered manual workers under New York law, but not all. Whether or not a warehouse employee is considered a manual worker depends on the nature of their work. Manual worker jobs involve physical labor or the use of physical skills. Specifically, Section 190 (4) of the NYLL defines a manual worker as a “mechanic, workingman, or laborer.” Under this broad definition, many jobs, including factory workers, warehouse employees, construction workers, retail workers, mechanics, and many others, are considered manual jobs.

The New York Department of Labor has held that to be considered a manual worker. Employees must spend at least 25 percent of their time performing physical tasks. Ultimately, whether or not an employee is considered a manual laborer depends on the individual employee’s specific job duties. When warehouse employees spend more than 25 percent of their time doing physical work, they will likely be considered manual laborers. 

Examples of Physical Tasks Performed By Warehouse Employees

If you work at a warehouse, you may be considered a manual worker and entitled to weekly paychecks if you spend at least a quarter of your time performing physical tasks. Most warehouse employees meet this standard because working at a warehouse is a physical job. Some of the physical responsibilities warehouse workers engage in include, but aren’t limited to, the following:

  • Preparing and completing orders for pickup or delivery, which may include loading, packing, wrapping, labeling, and shipping orders
  • Picking up, unloading, labeling, and storing warehouse stock products
  • Cleaning the warehouse and keeping it safe
  • Re-organizing and moving products around the warehouse to keep it organized
  • Operating and maintaining warehouse vehicles and equipment
  • Using heavy machinery to load, unload, and organize warehouse materials

These are only a few physical tasks expected of warehouse employees. The attorneys at Lipsky Lowe LLP can discuss your specific warehouse job and help you understand whether you may be considered a manual employee under the NYLL.

What If My Employer Fails to Pay Me Weekly?

A New York appellate court provided an essential interpretation of New York’s wage laws for manual workers in the 2018 Vega v. CM & Associates Construction Management, LLC case. In this case, a manual worker sued his employer for alleged violations of the NYLL’s weekly wage payments. His employer failed to pay his wages weekly, leading to a legal dispute about whether he was considered a manual worker. 

The court ruled that employees considered “manual workers” paid bi-weekly instead of weekly can recover liquidated and other damages by pursuing compensation through a civil lawsuit. They are entitled to damages even if fully paid because weekly payments are considered “late” under the NYLL. The outcome of this critical case serves as a cautionary tale for employers. Employers can be held liable for violating the NYLL when they fail to pay warehouse employees weekly. They must pay significant damages, including 100 percent of the delayed wages in addition to attorneys’ fees and costs. 

Talk to a Wage Payment Attorney Today

If you’re a warehouse employee, you may be entitled to receive your paycheck every week instead of twice a week. The employment attorneys at  Lipsky Lowe LLP are well-versed in labor laws in New York and committed to the well-being and rights of manual workers, including warehouse employees. We provide each client with personalized legal representation. When you partner with us, you can rest assured that we will protect your rights and be your voice. Contact us today for a free evaluation of your case.