About New York Labor Law Section 191
Most full or part time workers across New York state expect a regular paycheck for their efforts, but certain workers may not be aware that they need to get paid more often.
Under New York Labor Law Section 191, most hourly employees who perform manual tasks must be paid weekly.
Who Qualifies as a Manual Employee?
The law considers most hourly employees who spend more than 25% of working time undertaking physical tasks like standing, carrying goods and inventory, packing boxes, cleaning, and other such tasks as manual workers. Some jobs are purely physical, but some lesser-known examples may include:
- Sales associates
- Restaurant/bar workers
- Supermarket employees
- Pharmacist technicians
How Often Should I Be Paid?
For manual workers, wages must be paid weekly and not any later than seven calendar days after the end of the week in which those wages were earned, and they must be paid in full.
Railroad workers must be paid each week on or before Thursday and must include wages that were earned during the seven-day period ending on the Tuesday of the previous week.
Employees cannot be made to accept wages at periods other than those outlined in Section 191 of the Labor Law as a condition of their employment.
Are There Exceptions?
While all private sector employers are covered by the law, federal, state, and local government employers are not covered. Employees who are considered “professional, executive, or administrative” and who earn at least $900.00 per week are also exempt from the pay frequency requirements of Section 191.
It is also not required to pay clerical/non-manual workers or manual workers for non-profits on a weekly basis. They must instead be paid under the agreed-upon terms of employment, but not less frequently than semi-monthly.
Commission salespeople must also be paid according to their agreed terms of employment, but not less frequently than once a month, and no later than the last day of the month following the one in which the wages were earned.
Additionally, certain large employers may apply to the Commissioner of Labor for special permission to pay manual workers on a bi-weekly or other basis.
Know Your Rights
Employers who fail to comply with New York Labor Law Section 191’s payment frequency requirements may incur penalties, including fines and possible legal liability for unpaid wages. Employers could be required to pay damages equaling 100% of delayed wages for up to six years, plus interest and attorneys’ fees. In fact, employers may even be required to pay damages when the employee has been paid in full for their work hours, but not at the correct frequency.
If you believe your employer has not followed the payment frequency standards specified in New York Labor Law Section 191, you should speak with an experienced employment lawyer who can help guide you through your legal options.
Contact an Employment Lawyer Today
If you worked as a manual worker in New York at any point over the last six years and were not paid weekly, contact the experienced employment attorneys at Harding Mazzotti, LLP today for a free consultation. We are available 24/7 at 1-800-LAW-1010.
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