What Employees Can be Paid Less Than the Minimum Wage?

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With exceptions as to what employees can be paid less than minimum wage, you may wonder if your employer is giving you your rightful wages. Nonetheless, it is essential that you fully understand the rights given to you by federal and New York state laws. Follow along to find out what minimum wage rate is appropriate for you and how a proficient New York minimum wage lawyer at Bell Law Group can fight on your behalf for the compensation that you deserve.

What is New York’s minimum wage?

Both federal and New York state laws have established a minimum hourly rate that employers must follow. Of note, the current minimum wage in New York state is $14.20 per hour. However, the current minimum wage in New York City, Nassau County, Westchester County, and Suffolk County specifically is $15.00 per hour. This applies to large employers (i.e. 11 or more employees) and small employers (i.e., 10 or fewer employees) alike.

As for the federal minimum wage, this is $7.25 per hour. But still, you are entitled to be paid the higher New York minimum wage rate.

What types of employees can be paid less than New York’s minimum wage rate?

What gets complicated is that both federal and New York state laws have minimum wage exceptions. And so, the following types of employees may be paid less than New York’s minimum wage rate:

  • Tipped employees (i.e., waiters).
  • Minors and young workers under the age of 20.
  • Full-time and vocational students.
  • Employees with disabilities.
  • Employees for minimum wage exempt organizations (i.e., nonprofit organizations).

What should I do if I get paid less than New York’s minimum wage rate?

It is an unfortunate truth that employers often try to work around minimum wage laws so that they can improve their profit margins. Sometimes, they do so in not-so-obvious ways, like the following examples:

  • Your employer may ask you to work “off the clock” so it looks like you are being paid the minimum wage rate on paper.
  • Your employer may force you to go on unpaid leaves, even though you are able and willing to work.
  • Your employer may dock some money from your paycheck, making it below the minimum wage rate.

If you do not fall under a minimum wage exception but you are still underpaid, then you cannot let your employer take advantage of you in this way. And even though the Labor Standards Division is in charge of enforcing the New York State Minimum Wage Act, you may still have to take matters into your own hands via legal action.

So, if you are ready to stand up for your rights and hold your employer accountable for their violation of fair pay practices, you must schedule your initial consultation with a talented New York wage and hour lawyer today. We look forward to your call.

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