Many employees throughout the United States work well over 40 hours per week, yet not all receive compensation for the extra work. Currently, salaried employees earning less than $23,660 per year are entitled to overtime pay for working more than 40 hours in a week. President Obama is now proposing that the minimal income be raised to $50,400 per year for salaried employees to earn overtime pay.
The Employee Retirement Income Security Act, also known as "ERISA," was enacted in 1974 in an effort to administer rules for employers to provide pension and insurance benefit plans for retiring employees. The act also addresses pre-paid legal services, apprenticeship and training programs for employees, as well as scholarship funds and day care centers for children of employees.
With the 2016 presidential election just around the corner, it appears that employment wages, including minimum wages on both the federal, state and city level, have become important talking points. The federal minimum wage is currently $7.25 per hour. The New York state minimum wage is $8.75, which will be raised to $9.00 per hour on December 31, 2015.
For many people in the United States having a child is one of the most exciting and important moments in life. Beyond the commitment of time necessary during a pregnancy and up to and during the birth of a child, raising an infant comes with a seemingly infinite number of commitments and responsibilities. With this in mind, the United States federal government enacted the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993, also known as FMLA.
Whether you work in the public or private sector, in a blue collar or white collar job, understanding your rights as an employee can prove crucial to maintaining a healthy, productive and successful career. There are many federal and state laws in place that were created to help protect employees during their course of work.
Some of you may remember the 1999 film, The Insider, starring Al Pacino and Russell Crowe, based on true events of a whistleblower fighting the tobacco industry. The film received nearly universal acclaim and was nominated for seven Academy Awards, including Best Actor, Best Director and Best Picture. At the time, the film helped spotlight the rights of whistleblowers in the workplace.
In today's ever-changing economy, it is often difficult for employees to be certain about their job security. Any number of factors could lead to a company folding, moving, merging or downsizing. And when this occurs, employees are inevitably let go. Many full-time employees are given employee benefits, including health insurance and pension packages available upon retirement. Another benefit given to many employees, which may be available in the event of an employee termination, is severance compensation.
Most employees in New York state and throughout the country work to pay bills, support themselves and their families, and strive to achieve the American Dream of prosperity, success and happiness. Businesses, on the other hand, typically have different motives, focusing on success of the business and profits. At times, these differences can collide, and employees may become the victim of employee right violations.
Most New Yorkers understand that not every workplace is free of discrimination or sexual harassment and that some workers are not paid overtime, are denied benefits and are otherwise abused. Some workers who experience such workplace violations are afraid of retaliation, which is why they often do not complain or seek outside help. Unfortunately, unless someone steps forward, especially the person who is suffering mistreatment, workplace issues are likely to continue without any resolution in the worker's favor.
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.