New York State employers will ring in the New Year with increases to the hourly minimum wage rate and minimum salary level for exempt employees. The increases will take effect Saturday, December 31, 2016.
On May 18, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor announced a final rule calling for changes to the regulations governing the three white collar (executive, administrative and professional) exemptions from overtime under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act. The final rule, which follows a proposed rule issued in July 2015, takes effect December 1, 2016.
Big changes are in store for employers in New York State. On April 4, 2016, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed off on legislation to implement scheduled wage hikes that will eventually raise New York’s minimum wage to $15.00 per hour over a period of several years. The amount and pace of the increase will vary based upon geographic location within the State. The increase represents a compromise between Governor Cuomo, who sought a faster rise to the $15.00 per hour mark, and the Senate Republicans, who pushed for more time for employers to adjust to a rising wage.
Two of the area’s largest retail stores, Marshall’s and Big Lots, made news yesterday after being fined for violating Buffalo’s Ban the Box law, which prohibits employers from asking job applicants about past criminal history on employment applications. The law is meant to help those with criminal backgrounds apply for jobs without the risk of being immediately disqualified. HSE Labor and Employment Partner Amy Hemenway spoke with WGRZ Channel 2 and WBFO 88.7 about the law’s implications.