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Key Things to Know About Federal and New York Wage and Hour Laws for 2016

Lexology (12/22/15) Darrell S. Gay; Temitope K. Yusuf; Meera Chandramouli

Employers should be aware of several changes to wage and hour laws, both at the federal level and in New York. The U.S. Department of Labor has proposed amendments to the Fair Labor Standards Act that will increase the annual salary levels required for employees to be eligible for exemption from $23,600, or $455 per week, to $50,440, or $970 per week, with the final rule expected as early as Jan. 1, 2016. Additionally, the DC Circuit Court upheld DOL’s regulations applying the FLSA’s minimum wage and overtime protections to workers who provide home care for the elderly and disabled.

In New York, the minimum wage will rise to $9 per hour on Dec. 31; the minimum wage for tipped employees in the hospitality industry will rise to $7.50 per hour and $12 per hour for overtime, effective Dec. 31; and the minimum wage will rise on the same date to $10.50 per hour for fast food workers in New York City and $9.75 per hour elsewhere in the state. New York employers also must be aware of amendments to the Wage Theft Prevention Act; new requirements for paying employees by check, direct deposit, and payroll debit cards; and the extension of the New York Wage Deduction Law until Nov. 6, 2018.