There are many workers in our city that are employed in the hospitality industry. This makes sense when you consider how many tourists come through New York every year. The past year has been interesting for both restaurant and hospitality employees as they demand higher wages along with improved working conditions. These industries rely heavily on tips for their employees to have livable wages. However, wage theft and poor working conditions can happen in any industry. Most of the time, workers don’t even realize that they are being exploited by their employers.
Gary Falkowitz is a New York City wage and hour claims lawyer with extensive experience handling these cases. We understand that wage theft can happen to any employee at any time. So, we want to help you move forward and get the compensation you deserve to improve your life. If you feel you have been exploited by your workplace or are a victim of wage theft, contact us today.
What are some of the wage and hour issues in New York City?
There are federal laws, like the Fair Labors Standards Act, that provide some protection to workers, even though this protection is somewhat limited. Thankfully, there are laws that cover workers of both New York State and New York City to provide additional rights.
Minimum Wage: Most of the workers in New York should receive at least $8.75 per hour. They should also get the time and a half for their overtime, which are any hours they work over 40 hours a week. New York law also states that employees should have a break for meals and mini breaks to rest.
The wage for Restaurant Employees: Most restaurant employees do not receive minimum wage because they receive tips. So, there are many laws that New York State and New York City have in place to prevent theft of tips and misappropriation. Tips are not to be shared with non-tipped staff or given to owners. Some owners will try to make servers pay for mistakes through their tips, and this is definitely illegal.
Wage Laws: Employees of certain trades are eligible for certain levels of pay even if they are not part of a union (this is especially true for government contracts). Some trade workers could be making well over 40 dollars an hour with fringe benefits. So, there are many trade workers that feel well-compensated, but they are missing out of thousands of dollars in wages.
Unpaid Commissions: There are many artists and freelance workers that don’t think they can recoup money for commissions that were never paid. However, New York does have statutes to help protect victims in these matters. Make sure you ask your attorney.
Independent Contractor Problems: Some employers will list you as an independent contractor to avoid paying you an hourly wage. However, just because your employer lists you this way doesn’t make it valid. You can find yourself owing the government thousands of dollars in taxes at the end of the year as a result.
Workers Being Misclassified: A lot of salaried employees do not receive any overtime. Even though your employer lists you as salaried, doesn’t mean that you are exempt from the overtime. The Fair Labor Standards Act determines whether you should receive overtime and not, and many workers in technology or administration miss out on these extra wages.
Equal Pay Act: Your employer cannot give you less money based on your gender. You have protected under the Civil Rights Act as Well as the Fair Labor Standards Act. A lot of women have found that they do not act quickly enough to receive their missed compensation. You must contact us as soon as you find out your compensation is less.
Retaliation due to wage and hour claims
Retaliation is any negative action that you receive because you filed a claim against your employer. Oftentimes when an employee speaks up about poor conditions or wage issues at work, they can find themselves a victim of retaliation. Some of the most common issues of retaliation are:
- A mandatory leave of absence
- Wrongful termination
- Reduction in wages
- Job change
- Disciplinary Actions
- Hostile attitudes, and more.
Don’t wait, you’ve already missed out on enough of your wages!
If you think you’re a victim of wage theft, you need to act now. Gary Falkowitz will fight for you to recover all your lost wages, damages, and more. Contact us today to set up your free consultation.