When a New York City employer does not pay an employee properly, the employer will owe the employee back pay. Common New York wage and hour violations include failure to pay an employee the minimum wage, failure to pay overtime, or improper time clock rounding. Additionally, when an employer fails to provide an employee with the legally required amount of breaks, including a lunch break, they will owe the employee back pay. Some employers engage in wage violations intentionally to save money, while others do it unintentionally. Employees who suspect a wage violation should hire a skilled employment lawyer as soon as possible to investigate their potential wage claim.
Is your employer engaging in wage and hour violations? Are you suspicious that your employer is not paying you fully for the time you worked? If your employer has violated federal or local law, you may be entitled to compensation, including back pay. At Lipsky Lowe LLP, our law firm focuses our legal practice on employment law. Our skilled lawyers can listen to the facts of our clients’ cases and calculate how much back pay their employer owes them. In addition to back pay, employees may be able to recover a monetary penalty. Contact our New York City back pay law firm today to schedule your initial consultation.
Penalties for New York City Unpaid Wage Violations
Under New York law, employers who engage in unpaid wage and hour violations owe their employees back pay and could also owe liquidated damages equalling 100% of the owed wages. Here are common unpaid wage violations:
- The employee’s paycheck bounced because of not sufficient funds
- The employee did not receive all of his or her tips
- The employer lowered the employee’s pay rate without proper notice
- The employer did not pay the employee for all of the hours he or she worked
- The employer did not pay the employee for on-the-job training
Employees can claim back pay for illegal paycheck deductions under the following situations:
- The employer deducted wages illegally from the employee’s pay
- The employer deducted an amount for damages from the employee’s paycheck
- The employer overcharged the employee for his or her contribution to Paid Family Leave
Employees can claim unpaid wage supplements when the employer promised to provide vacation pay, holiday pay, or bonuses but did not provide the bonuses. To file a successful claim, the employer must have made an explicit verbal promise or promise in writing.
Calculating Back Pay for Failure to Pay the Minimum Wage or Overtime
When employers fail to pay their employees the minimum hourly wage as required by law, they will owe their employees back pay. The back pay amount will be equal to the amount of overtime they didn’t pay. Employers engage in minimum wage violations when they do the following:
- Paid less than the current fast food minimum wage
- Paid less than the current minimum wage
- Paid less than the minimum wage required for tipped workers
- Fail to pay the proper rate for overtime hours
How is back pay calculated for failure to pay overtime hours? Employers must pay employees at an overtime rate when they make more than 40 hours in one week. In most industries, employers must pay employees overtime at a rate of time and a half of their regular pay. For example, when an employee regularly makes $20/hour, an employer needs to pay them $30 per hour for overtime hours he or she worked.
The Department of Labor offers a minimum wage calculator. This tool helps employees determine the minimum hourly cash wage their employer should pay them. To calculate back pay, an employee should first determine the legal minimum wage he or she should be receiving. Next, the employee should subtract his or her actual hour pay rate from the legal minimum wage laws.
Liquidated Damages for Back Pay Claims in New York
Under New York law, employers who unlawfully underpay employees must provide the employee with back pay. In addition to the back pay amount, employees can also recover an additional liquidated damages amount. Employees can recover up to 100 percent of their back pay as liquidated damages when the wage claims involve one or more of the following wage violations:
- Overtime violations
- Meal break pay violations
- Day of rest law violations
- Minimum wage violations
For example, if an employer owes an employee $5,000 in back pay for wage violations, the employee can recover an additional $5,000 in liquidated damages for a total of $10,000 in damages. Depending on the facts of the employee’s case, he or she may be able to recover legal costs, attorneys’ fees, and interest on the total amount of back pay. When employers fail to provide their employees with specific notices, the employee may be entitled to additional penalties in addition to any back pay owed to the employee.
Our Back Pay Calculation Lawyers are Here to Help You
If your employer owes you back pay for unpaid wages, speaking to a skilled employment lawyer is essential. At Lipsky Lowe LLP, we’ve helped thousands of New Yorkers recover back pay for a variety of New York City wage violations. Contact our New York City employment law firm today to learn hour our employment lawyers can help you.