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Complex New York State Labor Laws Can Lead to Abuse

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New York State labor laws that deal with overtime, deductions, breaks, tips and benefits are some of the most detailed in the country. It lists different kinds of workers and employers, and how the law applies to them. While the labor laws can be hard to understand, it's worth your time to learn your rights.

On the positive side, New York's labor laws are so very detailed, it's easier to get employers to comply. For example, New York labor law lists the specific deductions employers can make, and those they can't. It also addresses overtime:

- A common violation of the law involves deductions for damages to the employer's property. Your employer can't deduct damages from your wages. Like anyone else, they have to get the courts to issue an order against you.

- Charging you for uniforms. If your employer wants you to wear a uniform, New York labor law is very clear: They must supply it, clean it and replace it - at no cost to you.

- Not paying overtime. If you worked more than 40 hours in a week, it qualifies as overtime for most occupations. Overtime pay is one and half times your regular hourly wage. For example, if you're usually paid $10.00 per hour, your overtime rate would be $15.00 an hour.


Overtime Can Apply to "Salaried" Employees

Just because your company says you're a salaried employee, the law may see it differently. Federal and New York labor law clearly defines the kinds of jobs that are not eligible for overtime pay. If you don't fit into one of those strict categories you could be eligible for overtime pay.

Some of the most common abuses of overtime pay occur amongst professionals and stock brokers. Remember, the law decides who gets overtime, not your employer.

Take Action

If you think you haven't been treated fairly, a lawyer can help understand and enforce labor laws. But don't wait to act - the laws are also detailed about how long you have to make a claim.

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READER COMMENTS

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I recently resigned a position, it was forced rather thaen being fired deal. Today is pay day, I worked the last two weeks of the pay period. My last day was Monday as a "Paid" suspension. I have not as yet collected my personal belongings nor have I turned in my keys. Upon checking my banking, I have not been paid for my last two weeks of service nor my "paid suspsension" day. Is it legal in NYS for an employeer to hold your last check hostage or God Forbid, not pay you at all? I have been employeed with this employeer for 4 years it is a public school where the superintendant is the boss.

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