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Minimum Wage Violations

Both the federal government and New York State require that employers pay to employees a minimum wage. A minimum wage is the lowest hourly rate that an employer must pay to an employee. Under federal law, the minimum wage is $7.25 per hour. Congress, however, allows states to set a higher minimum wage. New York has done just that.

New York has raised the state's minimum wage. In other words, though the federal minimum wage is $7.25, employers in New York must ensure they are paying their employees in accordance with New York State's minimum wage. New York's minimum wage varies according to geographical location within the state. As of 2023, for employees working in New York City, Long Island (Nassau and Suffolk Counties), and Westchester County, the New York minimum wage is $15.00 per hour. In other areas of New York, the minimum wage is $14.20 per hour.

New York's minimum wage is set to increase yearly. 

New York's Minimum Wage

New York City, Long Island (Nassau/Suffolk), Westchester

Remainder of the State




January 1, 2024



January 1, 2025



January 1, 2026



In addition to these minimums, New York City has set a minimum wage for app-based delivery service workers and courier services. For app-based workers who are paid while connected to the app, the minimum wage is $17.96 per hour. For app-based workers who are paid only after accepting a delivery trip, the worker must be paid at least $.50 per minute.

Employers who do not properly pay minimum wages to employees may face stiff penalties. The New York State and the federal Departments of Labor are empowered to investigate claims of unpaid wages. The DOL may impose penalties if it determines the minimum wage was not paid to employees.

In addition, employees can sue employers when they have not been paid the proper minimum wage. Like DOL investigations, unpaid wage lawsuits can be accompanied with significant penalties. Employees suing for minimum wage violations may be entitled to several categories of damages. Actual damages is the actual amount of unpaid wages. For example, if an employer paid an employee working in Nassau County a wage of $10.00 per hour, the actual damages are the difference between the $10.00, and the minimum wage, which in this case would be $5.00 per hour for each hour which the employee worked, but was paid less than minimum wage.

In addition to actual damages, both federal and New York State law provide for liquidated damages. In New York, liquidated damages for a claim of a minimum wage violation is 100% of the actual damages. In other words, the damages are doubled. So, if an employee is owed $10,000 in actual damages, the liquidated damages are an additional $10,000.

Attorneys who represent employees in minimum wage violation lawsuits are entitled to be paid their fees from the employer, if the lawsuit is successful. Notably, in New York, the attorneys' fees do not need to bear a relation to the overall value of the case. For example, whether an employer is liable for $10,000 in unpaid wages or $1,000,0000 in unpaid wages, if an attorney spends 100 hours on the case, the attorney may be able to be paid for all those hours. Thus, even in a relatively small case of minimum wage violations, the employee's attorney may be entitled to significant fees from the employer.

Finally, in New York, employees are entitled to interest on their unpaid wages.
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Mr. Weinick is the utmost professional. I called him for help with an employment issue and I was in his office the next day for a free, almost hour long, consultation. I ultimately retained him for his services and his professionalism continued, he is extremely talented and well versed in employment law and he answers emails immediately, he even emailed me a few times to check on how things were progressing. I cannot thank Mr. Weinick enough for his help, and I wouldn't hesitate to call him again if necessary. Hopefully there will be no need, but in today's employment landscape you never know. Thanks again. Tom Orlik