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Payment of Wages: Rules Against Retaliation

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As a law firm dedicated to representing employers and business owners, KI Legal understands the intricate legal landscape surrounding New York State's employment regulations. While our commitment is to guide businesses in adhering to the law, it is crucial to recognize that even well-intentioned employers may inadvertently find themselves in legal trouble, especially concerning wage and hour laws.

New York State, a powerhouse in the nation's economy, has been a pioneer in championing workers' rights, with a specific focus on fair and timely compensation. To this end, the state has implemented a comprehensive framework of laws governing wage payments, including stringent provisions against retaliation.

Under New York State law, employers are obligated to compensate employees for all hours worked, ensuring a rate no less than the minimum wage. Overtime pay becomes mandatory when an employee surpasses 40 hours in a week, accompanied by the requirement to maintain precise records of hours worked and wages disbursed.

Regrettably, some employers – even those striving to do right by their employees – may inadvertently run afoul of these laws. Whether through oversight or misunderstanding, employers might miscalculate wages, unintentionally paying less than the minimum wage or failing to account for overtime hours. Additionally, misclassification of workers as exempt from overtime requirements can create legal challenges – expensive ones. In some instances, employers may face allegations of retaliation when employees raise concerns about such wage and hour violations.

To address these challenges, New York State has established robust rules against retaliation. Employers are expressly prohibited from taking adverse actions against employees asserting their rights under wage and hour laws. Adverse actions encompass termination, demotion, or any punitive measures against employees advocating for their rights.

While the goal is to encourage employees to voice concerns without fear of retaliation, businesses must navigate a complex regulatory landscape. Beyond retaliation rules, the state enforces numerous other wage and hour laws, covering areas such as minimum wage, overtime, and meal and rest breaks.

For example, the state's overtime rules are very stringent, with most workers entitled to 1.5 times their regular rate for hours exceeding 40 in a week. Certain exceptions exist, primarily for specific salaried workers, but the general principle remains—most workers are eligible for overtime pay.

In the event of alleged retaliation, New York State law provides workers with legal recourse. Filing a complaint with the New York State Department of Labor initiates an investigation and potential legal action against the employer. Alternatively, affected workers can pursue a private lawsuit, seeking remedies such as lost wages, punitive damages, and other compensation.

In conclusion, New York State has enacted a comprehensive set of laws and regulations aimed at protecting workers while also holding employers accountable. Employers facing concerns about compliance with the intricate web of wage and hour laws should proactively seek guidance. KI Legal’s Employment Division is here to assist businesses in understanding and navigating these complexities, ensuring adherence to the law. By guiding businesses through these laws, we contribute to fostering fair and respectful treatment of workers. For help navigating labor and employment considerations, or to discuss your particular employment issue, contact KI Legal’s knowledgeable labor & employment attorneys by calling (212) 404-8644 or emailing

This information is the most up to date news available as of the date posted. Please be advised that any information posted on the KI Legal Blog or Social Channels is being supplied for informational purposes only and is subject to change at any time. For more information, and clarity surrounding your individual organization or current situation, contact a member of the KI Legal team.


KI Legal focuses on guiding companies and businesses throughout the entire legal spectrum. KI Legal’s services generally fall under three broad-based practice group areas: Transactions, Litigation and General Counsel. Its extensive client base is primarily made up of real estate developers, managers, owners and operators, lending institutions, restaurant and hospitality groups, construction companies, investment funds, and asset management firms. KI Legal’s unwavering reputation for diligent and thoughtful representation has been established and sustained by its strong team of reputable attorneys and staff. For the latest updates, follow KI Legal on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram. For more information, visit

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