United States: New York Employment Law Update For 2017: Minimum Wage Increases, Increases In Salary Threshold For Exempt Employees, And 2018 Paid Family Leave

New York State Minimum Wage Increase

Earlier this year, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law a bill which gradually increases the minimum wage to $15.00 an hour under different schedules in three state regions: 1) New York City; 2) Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester counties; and 3) outside Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester counties. The legislation also sets a different schedule of increases for New York City businesses. 

New York City

New York City Businesses with 11 or More Employees

  • Effective December 31, 2016, the minimum wage increases to $11.00
  • Effective December 31, 2017, the minimum wage increases to $13.00
  • Effective December 31, 2018 - through December 31, 2021, the minimum wage increases to $15.00

New York City Businesses with 10 or Fewer Employees

  • Effective December 31, 2016, the minimum wage increases to $10.50
  • Effective December 31, 2017, the minimum wage increases to $12.00
  • Effective December 31, 2018, the minimum wage increases to $13.50
  • Effective December 31, 2019 - through December 31, 2021, the minimum wage increases to $15.00

Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester Counties

The minimum wage increases to $10.00 effective December 31, 2016, and then increases by $1 at the end of each of the next five years, reaching $15.00 on December 31, 2021.

Outside Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester Counties

The minimum wage increases to $9.70 effective December 31, 2016, and then increases by $.70 at the end of each of the next four years, reaching $12.50 on December 31, 2020. After 2020, the rate will increase to $15.00 on an indexed schedule to be set by the Director of the Division of Budget ("DOB") in consultation with the Department of Labor.

Earlier this week, Governor Cuomo announced the launch of a 200-member Enforcement Unit which will have members from the Labor Department and three other state agencies. The Enforcement Unit has been charged with helping businesses understand their responsibilities under the new wage regulations and ensuring compliance throughout the State.

New York State Department of Labor Increases Salary Threshold for Exempt Employees

As we previously reported, a nationwide injunction has halted the U.S. Department of Labor from implementing its new white collar overtime exemption regulations that would have increased the current salary threshold for the executive, administrative and professional exemptions under the Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA"). The new federal regulations were scheduled to take effect on December 1, 2016. 

However, the New York Department of Labor formally adopted new wage orders that increase the minimum salary requirements for executive and administrative employees from $675.00 per week to new levels based on the employer size and location. The new weekly salary thresholds do not apply to exempt professionals (learned or creative).

The new salary thresholds in New York effective December 31, 2016 are as follows:  

New York City

Large Employers (11 or more employees) in New York City:  $825.00 per week ($42,900 annually).
Small Employers (10 or fewer employees) in New York City: $787.50 per week ($40,950 annually).

Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester Counties: $750.00 per week ($39,000 annually).
Outside Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester Counties: $727.50 per week ($37,800 annually).

The weekly salary thresholds will gradually increase annually until the salary threshold reaches $1,125 per week ($58,500 annually) in New York City, Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester counties and $937.50 per week ($48,750 annually) outside Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester counties. In New York City the minimum salary threshold will reach $1,125 per week for large employers first -- by the end of 2018.

What does this mean for you?

While the federal regulations are in limbo, employers in New York must comply with the New York State law.  

  • Employers whose exempt executive and administrative employees are currently paid less than the new salary threshold must increase those salaries beginning with the paycheck or direct deposit covering the day of December 31, 2016.
  • Alternatively, employers can reclassify employees earning less than the new salary threshold to non-exempt (i.e. eligible for overtime) beginning with the first day of the workweek beginning December 26, 2016.

New York State Paid Family Leave Benefits Law to Go Into Effect January 1, 2018

Employers are also reminded that New York's Paid Family Leave Benefits Law, which is codified in New York State's Worker's Compensation Law, will go into effect on January 1, 2018. Upon full implementation, New York employers will be required to provide all full-time and part-time employees who have been working for the employer for at least 6 months, up to 12 weeks of paid leave from work per year.

Eligible employees will be able to take paid leave to:

  • Bond with a new child (including an adopted or foster child) within the first 12 months after the birth, adoption, or placement;
  • Provide physical or psychological care for the serious health condition of the employee's child, spouse, domestic partner, parent (including step-parent or legal guardian), parent-in-law, sibling, grandchild, or grandparent; or
  • Address certain exigent needs when a spouse, domestic partner, child, or parent of the employee is called to active military service.

Paid leave time may be taken intermittently in increments of one full day. Paid leave under the law may run concurrently with any unpaid leave to which an employee is eligible under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act ("FMLA"). Notably, paid leave is not available for an employee's own serious health condition which will continue to be governed by NYS short term disability insurance program.

The law provides job protection guarantees for all employees taking leave. Employees are also entitled to the continuation of their health care benefits during the leave period.

Under the law, paid family leave will be administered and paid for by the state's disability benefits fund. Employers will not be responsible for paying employees for family leave directly, however, they will need to arrange for an additional payroll deduction. Employees will not be able to concurrently collect family leave benefits and short-term disability benefits from the state.

New York joins New Jersey, California, and Rhode Island on the list of states requiring paid family leave for eligible employees. 

What does this mean for you?

Employers are advised to take the following steps in anticipation for compliance with the new law: 

  • Provide training to human resources personnel regarding compliance with the family leave law, including leave entitlement, maintaining benefits for employees on leave, and reinstatement rights upon expiration of the leave in accordance with the provisions of the law;
  • Review and revise company policies and procedures regarding leave to ensure compliance with the family leave requirements by January 1, 2018; and
  • Ensure compliance with the payroll deduction requirements under the new law.

Special thanks to Daniella M. Muller, Senior Attorney in the Employment Practice Group, for her assistance preparing this alert.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

In association with
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of www.mondaq.com

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about Mondaq.com’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to unsubscribe@mondaq.com with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to webmaster@mondaq.com.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to EditorialAdvisor@mondaq.com.

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at enquiries@mondaq.com.

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at problems@mondaq.com and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.