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New York’s Minimum Salary for Exemption and Minimum Hourly Wage Increasing in the New Year

Effective December 31, 2018, employers in New York State will face a higher salary threshold for exempt executive and administrative employees as well as an elevated minimum hourly wage. The increases are part of the amendments to the minimum wage orders put in place in 2016.

Salary basis thresholds specifically for workers fitting within the executive and administrative exemptions will increase as follows:

  • Employers in New York City
    • Employers with 11 or more employees
      • $1,125.00 per week (58,500.00 annually) as of December 31, 2018
    • Employers with 10 or fewer employees
      • $1,012.50 per week ($52,650.00 annually) as of December 31, 2018
      • $1,125.00 per week ($58,500.00 annually) as of December 31, 2019
  • Employers in NassauSuffolk, and Westchester Counties
    • $900.00 per week ($46,800.00 annually) as of December 31, 2018
    • $975.00 per week ($50,700.00 annually) as of December 31, 2019
    • $1,050.00 per week ($54,600.00 annually) as of December 31, 2020
    • $1,125.00 per week ($58,500.00 annually) as of December 31, 2021
  • Employers in remainder of New York State
    • $832.00 per week ($43,264.00 annually) as of December 31, 2018
    • $885.00 per week ($46,020.00 annually) as of December 31, 2019
    • $937.50 per week ($48,750.00 annually) as of December 31, 2020

The hourly minimum wage will increase as follows:

  • Employers in New York City
    • Employers with 11 or more employees
      • $15.00 per hour
    • Employers with 10 or fewer employees
      • $13.75 per hour
  • Employers in NassauSuffolk, and Westchester Counties
    • $12.00 per hour
  • Employers in the remainder of New York State
    • $11.10 per hour

Employer Next Steps

Employers should immediately take steps to identify those New York-based employees designated as exempt executives and administrators and, to the extent necessary, adjust those salaries to meet or exceed the new thresholds. In the alternative, where employers do not wish to adjust salaries, those positions need to be reclassified as non-exempt. Keep in mind that the salary requirement is just one component of the test for exempt status; those treated as exempt must also satisfy a duties test, but that test has not been modified.

The salary thresholds applicable to impacted employees must be those which are mandated in their primary work locations as of December 31, 2018.

Where employees are reclassified as non-exempt, employers should also ensure that, as of December 31, 2018, those employees are advised about the requirements for proper recording of work time, including overtime hours, as well as any and all other workplace rules which will now apply to them.

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Mary Gambardella Litigation lawyer Wiggin Dana
Partner

Mary brings decades of experience in helping clients comply with ever-changing labor laws and regulations, as well as in managing employment challenges such as sensitive terminations, sexual harassment, reductions in workforce, discrimination claims, and severance agreements. She is a proactive resource for clients seeking her counsel on a variety of human resource issues before they become a costly crisis, as well as a fierce advocate when crises arise.

Mary is Chair of the firm’s Labor, Employment and Benefits Department and regularly represents employers in...

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Lawrence Peikes Employment litigation lawyer Wiggin Dana
Partner

Larry represents the interests of management in all aspects of the employer-employee relationship and is particularly experienced in litigation defense. He has advocated for employers in a wide range of employment cases—before arbitrators, mediators, and government agencies as well as in state and federal courts. In a field where most attorneys rarely appear before a judge, let alone a jury, Larry has successfully tried cases on both the federal and state levels. Despite his extensive courtroom experience, Larry is first and foremost dedicated to finding the best, most pragmatic business solutions to personnel relations challenges, with an eye toward avoiding litigation.

Larry's practice encompasses the full range of employment law issues, including workplace discrimination, sexual and other forms of harassment, wrongful discharge, wage-and-hour compliance, non-competition agreements, trade secret protection, and contract negotiations. Larry represents employers in administrative proceedings before such agencies as the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission; the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities; the New York State Division of Human Rights and its New York City counterpart; the National Labor Relations Board; the U.S., Connecticut, and New York Departments of Labor; and other administrative bodies charged to enforce federal and state labor laws.

When litigation proves unavoidable, Larry and his team of seasoned employment lawyers have an enviable record of success, disposing of lawsuits on motions, at trial, and by way of advantageous settlements. 

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