Tag Archives: new york labor law

New York’s Highest Court Addresses Liability for Bonuses

An unsettled fertile area of litigation in New York has been the circumstances under which various types of incentive compensation—such as bonuses—become “earned” as wages and thus entitled to the protections of the New York Labor Law, which provide greater remedies than common law claims for breach of contract.  In a recent decision, New York’s … Continue Reading

SDNY – Executives Cannot Claim Unpaid Wages Under New York Labor Law, And Individual Liability Under Contract Claims Is Limited

Separated executives often assert wage claims following cessation of employment and big dollars are usually at issue. Important questions then arise, including principally: 1) whether the executive can assert a claim under the New York Labor Law; and, 2) just as importantly, who is responsible for any monies owed. A new decision issued by recently-appointed Judge Paul … Continue Reading

New York Employers Must Issue First Annual Wage Theft Prevention Act Notice In January 2012

New York’s landmark Wage Theft Prevention Act, which was recently modified and adopted in California, requires employers to issue to all New York employees an annual notice complying with the requirements of New York Labor Law § 195 (as amended by the Act). While the statute was effective in April 2011, the annual notice requirement, which … Continue Reading

Manhattan Appeals Court Rejects Senior Executive’s Claim for Alleged Unpaid Incentive Compensation

Pursuant to New York State Department of Labor guidance and New York case law, incentive compensation is not considered “wages” unless it is “earned.” See generally Truelove v. Northeast Capital & Advisory, Inc., 95 N.Y.2d 220, 225 (2000). Accordingly, disputes over an employee’s entitlement to incentive compensation in New York often turn on whether a particular bonus, … Continue Reading

New York Restaurant Litigation Continues…Claims A Casualty?

Despite the recent revised Hospitality Wage Order, the culmination of a multi-year process seeking to bring clarity to the at-times murky wage/hour regulations governing New York restaurants, litigation over these issues continues unabated. This phenomenon was ably remarked upon in a recent New York Times editorial by Zagat’s guide founder Nina Zagat. Now, the most recent installment … Continue Reading

Southern District of New York Judge Ratifies Legality of Participation in Tip Pool By Captains and Banquet Coordinator

While the New York State Department of Labor’s new Hospitality Industry Wage Order clarified many wage and hour issues for industry employers, the appropriateness of tip pool participation of certain categories of employee continues to be an area of uncertainty. On January 13, 2011, Federal District Judge Laura Taylor Swain granted summary judgment to Manhattan restaurant … Continue Reading

I Can’t Go To Jail For Wage and Hour Recordkeeping Violations – Or Can I?

As most employers know, the United States Department of Labor has extensive regulations regarding the nature and scope of records employers covered by the Act must maintain. See 29 CFR § 516.1, et seq. Many state laws contain analogous provisions. See, e.g. NY Labor Law § 195. While violations of these recordkeeping requirements can lead to civil penalties, (standing alone … Continue Reading

New York State Appellate Court Reinforces Limitations on Exempt Employees’ Ability to Assert New York State Labor Law Claims

Like many states with state wage and hour laws, the New York Labor Law contains certain unique provisions. One such provision is Section 198-c, which addresses an employee’s right to recover “wage supplements” such as reimbursement for expenses, health, welfare and retirement benefits and vacation, separation or holiday pay.. Section 198-c expressly provides that its provisions shall not apply to any person in a bona fide executive, administrative, or … Continue Reading

The Price of Foregoing Written Commission Agreements

As recently discussed here¸ a properly drafted commission agreement is essential in New York (and every state) to minimize exposure to a variety of claims, including claims for alleged unpaid commissions and improper wage deductions. In fact, in New York and other states, a written signed commission agreement is required pursuant to state law, absent … Continue Reading

There Is No Personal Liability For Wage and Hour Violations: Is There?

Business owners, supervisors and managers performing services for corporate entities often believe that liability for wage and hour violations can be imposed solely on the incorporated entity.  To the contrary, as demonstrated by a recent New York Federal Court decision, various theories support individual liability under both federal and, in this case, New York State law. … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Expands Relief Available in New York State Law Class Actions Filed In Federal Court

The Supreme Court dealt a blow to New York wage-and-hour defendants sued in federal court last week, overruling established precedent requiring plaintiffs bringing New York Labor Law (“Labor Law”) class actions in federal court to waive the 25% liquidated damages “penalty” in order to proceed on a class basis.  In Shady Grove Orthopedic Assocs., P.A. … Continue Reading

SDNY Judge Holds That Express Language In Offer Letter Precludes Bonus Claims

While in New York all employees are at-will absent contractual language to the contrary, an employer may (intentionally or unintentionally) create a “contract” with an employee governing certain terms of employment (such as bonus compensation) without destroying the at-will nature of employment.  Properly drafted and agreed upon, such a contract can preclude employees from later … Continue Reading
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