The legislation setting forth a schedule for increasing New York’s minimum wage has numerous implications for the New York employer community. On October 9, 2013, the Department of Labor published proposed amended Wage Orders for all industries which are effective as of December 31, 2013. 

The changes to the minimum wage implicate many facets of employee compensation under the Wage Orders, including allowances for tips, meals and lodging; uniform pay requirements; and, importantly, the minimum salary basis for exempt status under New York law. 

New York employers have only a short window of time to determine whether any changes to compensation practices need to be implemented and if so to implement such changes. Given the continued volume of class action wage litigation, decisive action must be taken to ensure compliance and avoid claims.