FAQ and Worker Resources

This is a collection of answers to FAQ and valuable worker resources on labor law, community groups, and government agencies serving workers. Have a question that is not listed here? Contact our workers’ rights hotline at 607-269-0409!

My employer hasn’t given me a W2 and I still need to file my taxes, is there another way to get it?

If you find yourself deep into February without your W-2, it’s time to get the IRS involved. If your efforts to get a copy from your employer have proved fruitless, call the IRS toll-free at 800-829-1040. During that call you’ll need:

  1. Your name, address, phone number, and Social Security number;
  2. your employer’s name, address, and phone number;
  3. the dates you worked for the employer;
  4. an estimate of your wages and federal income tax withheld last year; and
  5. your last pay stub of the tax year should have these amounts.

Source: Nerd Wallet

Under what circumstances may I be classified as an “exempt” employee?

All exempt employees in New York must be paid at least $980/week, in addition to passing the duties test under one of the following exemptions. An exempt employee may perform some non-exempt duties as long as their primary (majority) duties are exempt.

Executive Exemption:

  • The employee must customarily and regularly direct the work of at least two or more other full-time employees or their equivalent; and
  • The employee must have the authority to hire or fire other employees, or the employee’s suggestions and recommendations as to the hiring, firing, advancement, promotion, or any other change of status of other employees must be given particular weight

Administrative Exemption:

  • The employee’s primary duty must be the performance of office or non-manual work directly related to the management or general business operations of the employer or the employer’s customers; and
  • The employee’s primary duty includes the exercise of discretion and independent judgment with respect to matters of significance.

Professional Exemption:

  • The employee’s primary duty must be the performance of work requiring advanced knowledge, defined as work that is predominantly intellectual in character and which includes work requiring the consistent exercise of discretion and judgment;
  • The advanced knowledge must be in a field of science or learning; and
  • The advanced knowledge must be customarily acquired by a prolonged course of specialized intellectual instruction.

Creative Professional:

  • The employee’s primary duty must be the performance of work requiring invention, imagination, originality or talent in a recognized field of artistic or creative endeavor

Computer Employee Exemption:

  • The employee must be employed as a computer systems analyst, computer programmer, software engineer, or another similarly skilled worker in the computer field performing the duties described below. The employee’s primary duty must consist of:
  1. The application of systems analysis techniques and procedures, including consulting with users, to determine hardware, software, or system functional specifications;
  2. The design, development, documentation, analysis, creation, testing, or modification of computer systems or programs, including prototypes, based on and related to user or system design specifications;
  3. The design, documentation, testing, creation, or modification of computer programs related to machine operating systems; or
  4. A combination of the aforementioned duties, the performance of which requires the same level of skills.

Outside Sales Exemption:

  • The employee’s primary duty must be making sales (as defined in the FLSA), or obtaining orders or contracts for services or for the use of facilities for which a consideration will be paid by the client or customer; and
  • The employee must be customarily and regularly engaged away from the employer’s place or places of business.

Highly Compensated Employee Exemption:

Highly compensated employees performing office or non-manual work and paid total annual compensation of $107,432 or more (which must include at least $913* per week paid on a salary or fee basis) are exempt from the FLSA if they customarily and regularly perform at least one of the duties of an exempt executive, administrative or professional employee identified in the standard tests for exemption.

Source: US DOL

I am a per diem nurse. Can my employer force me to work longer than my scheduled, agreed-upon shift?

No. The law prohibits a health care employer from requiring a nurse to work overtime beyond the predetermined number of hours a nurse:

  • Has agreed to work
  • Is normally scheduled to work

Regularly scheduled hours may include:

  • Prescheduled on-call time
  • Time spent communicating shift reports on patient status needed to ensure patient safety

However, employers may NOT substitute on-call time for mandatory overtime. We consider on-call time as time spent working for purposes of determining whether a health care employer has required a nurse to work overtime.

Source: NYS DOL