Exempt Employees Minimum Wage Rises in New York, 2017

Employers in New York State should be aware of new minimum compensation limits for workers in the state. An increase to minimum wage for hourly employees eligible for overtime in NY has received fairly widespread attention; it rose at of the beginning of the new year to $9.70/hour in Upstate New York. Fewer people are aware that administrative and executive minimum salaries for overtime-exempt workers have also increased.

All exempt employees outside of New York City and its suburbs must now be paid a minimum salary of $727.50 per week or $37,830 annually.  This is almost an 8 percent increase over the previous year.  To properly classify these employees as exempt they must be paid this minimum.  Otherwise they must be reclassified as non-exempt and paid overtime for all hours worked over 40 hours per week. NYC and its suburbs have higher salary thresholds for exempt employees, as they now do for non-exempt hourly workers.

This increase in the salary basis threshold for exempt employees in NY is independent of the proposed federal change in nationwide salary thresholds, which is on hold as a result of a preliminary court injunction.  For more information, consult the NYS Department of Labor FAQ, “Administrative Employee Overtime Exemption Frequently Asked Questions”.

Tompkins County workers who have concerns that they are not paid minimum wages or that their positions are misclassified, and businesses interested in resources to be responsible employers, can contact the Tompkins County Workers’ Center Workers’ Rights Hotline at 607-269-0409 or tcwrh@tcworkerscenter.org.