How Wages and Hours Work in the NY Restaurant Industry

Author: Hans & Associates, P.C. : Stephen D. Hans

Restaurants fall into the hospitality industry category, which is subject to different wages and hours rules than other industries.

The New York Department of Labor currently sets hourly minimum wages for food service tipped employees as follows:

  • Minimum wage—$5.00
  • Maximum tip credit—$2.25
  • Total ((at least)—$7.25

These wages went into effect in January 2011. Other rules also apply such as paying overtime rates –one and a half times the regular pay rate – for hours worked over 40 hours/week.

Under the New York Wage Theft Prevention Act (WTPA)  New York restaurant employers must provide employees with a written notice of their pay rates, including overtime pay rates and also allowances taken as part of minimum wages, such as tips.

Under New York’s spread of hours rules  employees who work more than 10 hours in one day must receive an additional hour of pay at minimum wage rates. This has no relation to tips received and is regardless of whether the employee has a long break period in the middle of the day between lunch and dinner.

How wages and hours work in the New York restaurant industry can be complicated. Other legal nuances exist that restaurant owners must be concerned about and consulting a New York employment defense lawyer can be helpful, especially in the planning stages. Hans & Associates, P.C.  works with small and medium-sized restaurant owners in Queens and New York City. Mr. Hans has more than 30 years of business and employment law experience.

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