December 7, 2021

Volume XI, Number 341

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December 06, 2021

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New York Finalizes New Wage Orders, Raising Minimum Salary Levels for Exemption

The New York State Department of Labor formally adopted new wage orders today that raise the weekly salary thresholds for exemption as an executive or administrative employee from the current $675 per week ($35,100 annually) to new levels that differ based on employer size and location.

Effective December 31, 2016, the new salary thresholds in New York are as follows:

  • New York City: $825 per week ($42,900 annually) for employers with 11 or more employees; $787.50 per week ($40,950 annually) for employers with 10 or fewer employees.
  • Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester counties: $750 per week ($39,000 annually).
  • Other parts of New York: $727.50 per week ($37,830 annually).

The weekly salary thresholds will increase annually until the salary threshold reaches $1,125 per week ($58,500 annually) in New York City, Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester counties and $937.50 per week ($48,750 annually) in other parts of the state. New York City will reach $1,125 per week for employers of 11 or more employees the soonest, by the end of 2018. The new weekly salary thresholds do not apply to exempt professionals (learned or creative); there continues to be no salary threshold for these exempt professionals under New York law.

Employers whose exempt executive and administrative employees are currently paid less than the new salary threshold (based on number of employees and location) must increase those salaries to the new minimum beginning with the paycheck or direct deposit covering December 31, 2016. The salary may not be prorated for the workweek in which December 31 falls, even though the wage orders were not finalized until today, or else the affected employees will lose the exemption for the workweek.

Alternatively, employers may convert exempt employees earning less than the new salary threshold to non-exempt (i.e., overtime-eligible) beginning with the first day of the workweek in which December 31 falls.

Note that the federal Department of Labor overtime rule, recently preliminarily enjoined by a court in the Eastern District of Texas and pending appeal at the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, has no impact on the New York increases. Regardless of whether the federal rule ever takes effect, employers with New York employees must comply with these new wage orders.

© 2021 Proskauer Rose LLP. National Law Review, Volume VI, Number 363
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About this Author

Allan Bloom, Litigation Attorney, Proskauer Rose Law Firm
Partner

Allan Bloom is an experienced trial lawyer who represents management in a broad range of employment and labor law matters. He has successfully defended a number of the world’s leading financial services, investment management, technology, consumer products, telecommunications, publishing, insurance, construction, and lodging companies, as well as global law firms and cultural institutions, against claims for unpaid wages, employment discrimination, breach of contract, and wrongful discharge, both at the trial and appellate court levels.

212.969.3880
Rachel S. Philion, Wage and hour attorney, labor and employment lawyer, Proskauer Rose, Law Firm
Senior Counsel

Rachel S. Philion is an associate in the Labor & Employment Law Department, co-head of the Wage and Hour Practice Group and member of the Employment Litigation & Arbitration Group. Rachel defends employers in state and federal court lawsuits and alternative dispute resolution forums against claims of discrimination, retaliation, harassment, wrongful termination and breach of contract, as well as wage-and-hour class and collective actions.

Rachel has conducted large-scale workplace investigations in connection with defending clients...

212-969-3623
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