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Minimum Wage Increases Take Effect December 31st

As you know, on December 31st the minimum wage is increasing to $9.00 per hour and the minimum wage for tipped workers in the hospitality industry is increasing to $7.50 per hour. The tip credit will be $1.50 per hour. The minimum overtime rates are increasing to $13.50 per hour for non-tipped worker and $12.00 per hour for tipped workers. These increases take effect at midnight so anyone working on December 30th is due the higher wages for any hours worked past midnight.

In addition to the changes in wages, uniform maintenance rates and meal credits also change on December 31, 2015. The new rates for uniform maintenance are $11.20 for over 30 hours per week, $8.85 for over 20 to 30 hours per week, and $5.35 for 20 hours or less per week. The new meal credit rates are $2.50 for service & food service workers and $3.10 for non-service workers.

These mandated wage increases are “events” under the state Labor Law triggering certain notice requirements. Under the law by December 31st you are required to:

  1. Obtain and post a notice (poster) with the new minimum wage rate in your business
  2. Issue and obtain a signed copy of an updated pay notice to/from all employees getting a wage increase
  3. Update wage statement or pay stub issued to employees with new wage rate information

The State Department of Labor finalized the formal adoption of the regulations to implement these changes last week, but they still have not provided updated materials to assist businesses comply with the new wage rates. The Department has very helpful (outdated) guidance and sample documents on its website but these materials have not yet been updated. We do not have any indication when the Department will make this information available. Eventually the Labor Department will put a minimum wage notice on their website that you can post in your establishment and they will publish sample pay notices and wage statements you can use for your employees. You’ll find those documents on the Department’s website, www.labor.ny.gov, and we’ll have them available in our office as well.