The minimum wage in the state of New York is $11.80. Some counties have a higher minimum wage, but all employers in New York must pay at least $11.80 per hour. However, the system works a little differently for tipped employees. Their employers still have to pay the minimum tipped wage, but they don’t have to pay more if tips cover the rest.
Are tipped employees eligible for overtime pay?
According to wage and overtime law, tipped employee wages have a maximum “tip credit.” For example, the minimum wage in New York City is $15. Tipped wages have a $5 tip credit, meaning that their employer only has to pay $10 an hour if workers make the rest in tips. Otherwise, their employer has to compensate them for the amount that they didn’t receive in tips.
Since wages have a maximum tip credit, employers still have to give overtime wages if employees work more than 40 hours in a week. Even if an employee makes the equivalent in overtime wages with their tips, their employer still has to compensate them for overtime hours. You could contact an employment law attorney if you suspect that your employer hasn’t compensated you for overtime.
In some cases, your employer might accidentally miscalculate your wages and give you the wrong amount. Some employers genuinely don’t know that they have to give their tipped employees overtime pay. Other employers deliberately break the law and refuse to acknowledge the issue. Whether your employer acts intentionally or unintentionally, they have to follow the law like everyone else.
How do you know if your employer is breaking the law?
In New York, you get “time-and-a-half” pay for working overtime. This means you get your hourly wages plus an extra 50% of those wages. If you work overtime, check your hours and pay stubs to make sure that your employer paid you accordingly. Some employers assume that they don’t have to pay overtime because you’ll make it up in tips. Talk to an attorney if your employer refuses to give you overtime or has committed another wage and hour law violation.