New York employers who make an untimely wage payment may do so in violation of state and federal laws. Employers must pay their employees within seven days of their particular pay period, whether it is on a weekly or biweekly basis. While some exceptions exist, most employers cannot engage in untimely wage payments. Unfortunately, many New York employers do not pay their employees on time. In some instances, employers are unable to pay their employees. In other circumstances, employers are disorganized, causing them to fail to pay employees on time. Other employers intentionally engage in untimely wage payments.
Whatever the reason, when an employer engages in untimely wage payments, employees may have a legal right to compensation and restitution. When an employer fails to pay employees on time, Lipsky Lowe LLP can help. With over 30 years of employment law experience, our attorneys know how to hold employers accountable for untimely wage payments. Contact our New York City employment law firm today to schedule your initial consultation and learn how we can fight for your right to timely wage payments.
New York’s Untimely Wage Payment Law
Section 191 of New York State’s Labor Law regulates untimely wage payments. The law outlines the frequency by which employers must pay their employees in New York State. Payment requirements vary based on the type of employee. Manual workers, railroad workers, commissioned salespeople, executives, and clerical workers are subject to different payment frequency requirements.
Which Employees Does New York’s Untimely Wage Payment Laws Cover?
All private-sector employers must abide by Section 191 of the New York Labor Law, which regulates the frequency of wage payments. Section 191 does not apply to state and federal government employers. However, private schools, charter schools, and not-for-profit employers are considered private entities and must abide by Section 191.
Executors, professionals, and administrators are exempt from New York’s labor law. This exception applies to employees who work in a bona fide professional capacity who earn an excess of $900 per week. However, when an employee makes over $900 per week due to overtime, he or she is not necessarily excluded from protection by Section 191 of the Labor Law.
Employees qualify as bona fide executives when their employment meets the following conditions:
- The primary duty of the employee is the management of the enterprise
- The employee regularly and customarily directs the work of two or more employees
- The employee has the authority to hire new employees or fire current employees
- The employee’s recommendations as to hiring, firing, and promotion have weight
- The employer regularly and customarily exercises his or her discretionary powers
Employees qualify as administrative employees when their employment meets the following conditions:
- The employee primarily performs office duties related to general operations
- The employee regularly and customarily exercises his or her independent discretion
- The employee assists in an administrative capacity using his or her skills or training
Finally, to qualify as a professional employee, the following conditions must be met:
- The position requires advanced knowledge in a field of science or specialized instruction
- The employee works in a recognized artistic field that depends on his or her talent
General academic education, apprenticeships, and training in routine mental, manual, or physical processes do not constitute advanced knowledge — instead, a professional works in a field that typically requires a prolonged course of specialized intellectual instruction. Doctors, lawyers, and dentists are all considered professionals for New York’s untimely wage payment laws.
Untimely Wage Payments for Manual Workers
Employers of manual workers must pay their employees weekly. Employees must receive their payments no later than seven calendar days after the week in which the employee earned the wages. New York State Labor Law defines a manual worker as a “mechanic, workingman or laborer.” The New York State Labor Department has interpreted the definition of manual labor to mean that the individual spends 25 percent of more of his or her working time engaged in physical labor. The labor board typically interprets physical labor broadly to include many different types of physical tasks that employees perform.
The penalty for failing to timely pay manual workers is significant. Following a recent decision from the New York Supreme Court, First Department, an employer is liable up to 100% for the untimely paid wages. Example: an employee qualifies as manual laborer but is paid every two weeks; the employer pays him $1,000 for those two weeks; the employer is liable to him for $1,000.
Untimely Wage Payments of Commission Salespersons
Commissioned salespersons must receive payment per their written employment contract, however they must be paid at least once per month. Additionally, employers must pay commission salespersons no later than the last day of the month following the month in which the employee earned the wages.
When commissioned salespersons make substantial wages, or earn additional compensation that includes an incentive or extra earnings, employers may pay them less frequently than once per month. The attorneys at Lipsky Lowe LLP have the necessary experience to advise clients who work on a commission basis as to their payment rights under New York law.
Failure to Provide a Final Paycheck on Time
New York state law regulates the payment of an employee’s final paycheck. Unfortunately, some employers withhold an employee’s last paycheck out of retribution for an employee quitting or simply because the employer doesn’t want to pay. Under New York state law, an employer must provide an employer’s final paycheck on the next scheduled payday when an employer fires an employee or an employee quits a position.
Our NYC Untimely Wage Payment Attorney Can Help
When employers engage in untimely wage payments, employees may be entitled to damages. The attorneys here at Lipsky Lowe LLP are experienced to know the best option to recover those damages for you: whether it is to file a lawsuit or to file a claim with the New York State Department of Labor. If you are a New York employee and your employer has failed to pay you on time, we can help. Contact the skilled employment attorneys at Lipsky Lowe LLP to discuss how our law firm can help you fight for your right to receive payment on time.