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What should New Yorkers know about overtime pay?

When New York residents work more than 40 hours per week, in most cases they should receive overtime pay. However, there are many elements to overtime other than just putting in extra hours at work. New York workers should understand the basic information about overtime pay, not just so they will receive the correct payment for any additional hours worked, but especially to protect their employee rights from being violated by their employers.

Workers should know that overtime pay, depending on their employment contract, can be greater than the amount required by the state or federal government. However, the amount cannot be less than what is indicated by the law. Most jobs are required to pay overtime. However, jobs like driving a taxi, babysitters who work part-time, farm laborers, camp counselors, people who work for charitable or religious organizations and outside sales personnel are exempt from this additional pay. Certain interns, apprentices and volunteers are also exempt.

Overtime computation can vary depending on the amount of pay received or based on a provision in a collective bargaining agreement. It should be paid at a rate of 1.5 times a worker's regular hourly rate when an employee works for more than 40 hours a week. Other payments, like bonuses, services or gifts, cannot be factored in as a part of either the worker's regular rate or overtime pay. Overtime pay is not required during a weekend, holiday or night shift unless stated in an employment contract or CBA.

New Yorkers should also know that they cannot waive their right to overtime. This is a violation of their labor rights. Similarly, unpaid overtime or an employer's failure to pay benefits is also against a worker's rights. Workers can hold their employers liable if they are forced to forego overtime or they are deprived of any benefits that should be given to them.

Source:, "Overtime Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)," Accessed on Dec. 30, 2014

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