Wage & Hour Litigation & Compliance
New York Employment Lawyers
Most business owners are aware of their obligation to give non-exempt employees overtime pay for all hours worked over forty hours per week. However, surprisingly few small and mid-sized businesses have payroll policies that comply with basic overtime requirements. Even fewer employers are compliant with or even aware of the large amount of other rules and regulations that govern the compensation of employees. The lack of awareness increasingly translates into costly employee lawsuits and invasive Department of Labor investigations.
Tip-Related Issues Are Common in the Service Industries
Many employers, especially those in service industries, have serious exposure to wage and hour litigation as a result of tip-related issues. Federal and State laws both contain detailed rules regarding employee tips, including the amount that an employer can take as a “tip credit” to reduce the applicable minimum wage rate and strict recordkeeping requirements. Employers often fall into the trap of not complying with all of the regulations required in order to take a “tip credit,” which often leads to expensive lawsuits.
Payroll Procedures – A Crucial Aspect of Employee Relations
Proper payroll procedures are among the most crucial aspect of effective employee relations, yet few businesses actually spend the time and money required to ensure that they are compliant with Federal and State wage and hour laws and regulations. In New York, most employers must comply with both the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the many wage and hour provisions contained in the New York State Labor Law. On top of this, both the U. S. Department of Labor and the NYS Department of Labor have promulgated detailed and extensive regulations that contain additional requirements for most employers. To protect their businesses from damaging wage and hour lawsuits and investigations, business owners in New York must know which of these regulations apply to them and how to implement effective compliance policies.
Legal Help with Wage & Hour Issues and Disputes
New York employers increasingly find themselves embroiled in a wide variety of wage and hour issues and disputes. Nonetheless, some of the more common areas that typically spawn litigation include:
- Minimum wage compliance
- Overtime compliance
- Spread-of-hours pay
- Employee misclassification issues
- Exempt vs. non-exempt employee status
- Independent contractor status
- Federal and State recordkeeping compliance
- Improper wage deductions
- Tip credit issues
As the size of the plaintiffs’ bar specializing in wage and hour issues continues to grow, small and mid-sized employers find themselves facing increasingly complex and expensive class action wage lawsuits involving dozens or even hundreds of past and present employees. Because wage and hour laws are complex, and the potential financial exposure is so high, it is important for every employer to take a proactive stance toward compliance.
At the law firm of Stephen D. Hans & Associates, we regularly review employment policies and practices as part of our human resources counseling. Our labor and employment attorneys stand ready to take your side. Whether you are conducting an in-house audit, are under Department Of Labor scrutiny, or a wage and hour lawsuit has been filed against your company, call our office at (718) 275-6700 to arrange a consultation and learn how we can help.
Employment and labor law attorneys serving businesses in Long Island City, Queens, on Long Island and in towns and communities across the New York City metro area