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New York Minimum Wage

New York Minimum Wage Increases on 12/31/17

Don’t forget that the New York minimum wage will increase for most employers on December 31, 2018.

Note that the change takes effect on the last day of 2017, not the first day of 2018.

Standard New York Minimum Wage

The chart below shows the current minimum wage and scheduled increases, by geographic location and employer size (where applicable), for most New York private employers. These also apply for non-teaching employees of public school districts or a BOCES. There is no New York minimum wage for other employees of public (governmental) employers (but the federal minimum wage of $7.25 does apply).

General Minimum Wage Rate Schedule
Location 12/31/16 12/31/17 12/31/18 12/31/19 12/31/20 2021
NYC – Large Employers (of 11 or more) $11.00 $13.00 $15.00
NYC – Small Employers (10 or less) $10.50 $12.00 $13.50 $15.00
Long Island & Westchester $10.00 $11.00 $12.00 $13.00 $14.00 $15.00
Remainder of New York State $9.70 $10.40 $11.10 $11.80 $12.50 TBD*

* Annual increases for the rest of the state will continue until the rate reaches a $15 minimum wage. Starting 2021, the annual increases will be published by the Commissioner of Labor by October 1. They will be based on percentage increases determined by the Director of the Division of Budget, based on economic indices, including the Consumer Price Index.

New York Minimum Wage for Tipped Employees in the Hospitality Industry

New York State has separate minimum wage rules for employees in the hospitality industry.

The hospitality industry includes any restaurant or hotel.

The minimum wage for most non-tipped employees in the hospitality industry are set as per the schedule above. However, employers may count a portion of certain tipped employees’ gratuities toward the minimum wage requirements. This is known as a “tip credit.”

New York State has two separate cash wage and tip credit schedules for tipped hospitality employees who qualify as “food service workers” and “service employees.”

Food Service Workers

A food service worker is any employee who is primarily engaged in serving food or beverages to guests, patrons, or customers in the hospitality industry who regularly receive tips. This includes wait staff, bartenders, captains, and busing personnel. It does not include delivery workers.

Hospitality Industry Tipped Minimum Wage Rate Schedule (Food Service Workers)
Location 12/31/16 12/31/17 12/31/18 12/31/19 12/31/20 2021
NYC – Large Employers
(of 11 or more)
$7.50 Cash

$3.50 Tip

$8.65 Cash

$4.35 Tip

$10.00 Cash

$5.00 Tip

NYC – Small Employers
(10 or less)
$7.50 Cash

$3.00 Tip

$8.00 Cash

$4.00 Tip

$9.00 Cash

$4.50 Tip

$10.00 Cash

$5.00 Tip

Long Island & Westchester $7.50 Cash

$2.50 Tip

$7.50 Cash

$3.50 Tip

$8.00 Cash

$4.00 Tip

$8.65 Cash

$4.35 Tip

$9.35 Cash

$4.65 Tip

$10.00 Cash

$5.00 Tip

Remainder of New York State $7.50 Cash

$2.20 Tip

$7.50 Cash

$2.90 Tip

$7.50 Cash

$3.60 Tip

$7.85 Cash

$3.95 Tip

$8.35 Cash

$4.15 Tip

Service Employees

The next schedule applies to other service employees. A service employee is one who is not a food service worker or fast food employee who customarily receives tips above an applicable tip threshold (which also follows schedules, not shown here).

Hospitality Industry Tipped Minimum Wage Rate Schedule (Service Employees)
Location 12/31/16 12/31/17 12/31/18 12/31/19 12/31/20 2021
NYC – Large Employers
(of 11 or more)
$9.15 Cash

$1.85 Tip

$10.85 Cash

$2.15 Tip

$12.50 Cash

$2.50 Tip

NYC – Small Employers
(10 or less)
$8.75 Cash

$1.75 Tip

$10.00 Cash

$2.00 Tip

$11.25 Cash

$2.25 Tip

$12.50 Cash

$2.50 Tip

Long Island & Westchester $8.35 Cash

$1.65 Tip

$9.15 Cash

$1.85 Tip

$10.00 Cash

$2.00 Tip

$10.85 Cash

$2.15 Tip

$11.65 Cash

$2.35 Tip

$12.50 Cash

$2.50 Tip

Remainder of New York State $8.10 Cash

$1.60 Tip

$8.65 Cash

$1.75 Tip

$9.25 Cash

$1.85 Tip

$9.85 Cash

$1.95 Tip

$10.40 Cash

$2.10 Tip

Fast Food Minimum Wage

Non-exempt employees at some “fast food” restaurants are subject to an alternative minimum wage schedule.

This schedule applies to employees who work in covered fast food restaurants whose job duties include at least one of the following: customer service, cooking, food or drink preparation, delivery, security, stocking supplies or equipment, cleaning, or routine maintenance.

These special New York minimum wage rates only apply to fast food restaurants that are part of a chain with at least 30 restaurants nationally.

Fast Food Minimum Wage Rate Schedule
Location 12/31/16 12/31/17 12/31/18 12/31/19 12/31/20 7/1/2021
New York City $12.00 $13.50 $15.00
Outside of New York City $10.75 $11.75 $12.75 $13.75  $14.50  $15.00

Note: No tip credit is available for fast food employees.

Overtime Threshold

The salary threshold for New York’s executive and administrative exemptions will also increase on December 31st. These amounts are all higher than the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) threshold, which remains at $455/week. But most New York employers (other than governmental entities) have to satisfy the higher New York threshold to ensure full overtime exemption.

There is no salary requirement for New York’s professional exemption. But employers must also satisfy the $455/week FLSA threshold for most professional employees. There is no federal salary requirement to exempt doctors, lawyers, and teachers.

(For more on the FLSA salary threshold, read How Much Should Exempt Employees Get Paid.)

Executive & Administrative Exemption Weekly Salary Threshold Schedule
Location 12/31/16 12/31/17 12/31/18 12/31/19 12/31/20 2021
NYC – Large Employers (of 11 or more) $825.00 $975.00 $1,125.00
NYC – Small Employers (10 or less) $787.50 $900.00 $1,012.50 $1,125.00
Long Island & Westchester $750.00 $825.00 $900.00 $975.00 $1,050.00 $1,125.00
Remainder of New York State $727.50 $780.00 $832.00 $885.00 $937.50 TBD*

Review and Revise Now

New York employers should review their compensation levels and make necessary changes by December 31, 2017. This may mean increasing an employee’s hourly wage or salary or reclassifying exempt employees to non-exempt if they will no longer meet the exemption salary requirement.

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