New York Minimum Wage Exemptions
New York has multiple minimum wage orders, each addressing specific industries, that set alternative minimum wage scales for workers in those industries.
Hospitality and Fast Food Worker Wage Order
This wage order covers tipped and non-tipped employees that are working in the hospitality industry.
Fast-food employees within New York City have a minimum wage of $15 per hour (as of December 31, 2018), and since December 31, 2019, those outside of New York City have a minimum wage of $13.75 per hour.
The rate for those outside New York City will rise annually until reaching $15 per hour on July 1, 2021.
Tipped employees are also covered under this order, as discussed in the Tipped Wage in New York section below.
Wage Order for Building Service Industry
This wage order covers employees in the building service industry, including janitors.
The wage rate for janitors is based on the number of units in which work is done per week. Within New York City, the rate is $10 per unit worked in, as of December 31, 2019.
For janitors in Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester counties, the rate is $8.65 per unit worked in as of December 31, 2019, with annual increases planned. For the remainder of the state, the rate is $7.85 per unit, with yearly increases expected.
A minimum salary on a weekly basis must also be met for janitors. This rate is $638.00 per week within New York City as of December 31, 2019. For employers in Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester counties, the rate is $552.95 per week, while the rest of the state has a rate of $501.90 per week. Except for within New York City, annual increases are planned.
For any building service employee, apartments provided to the employee (and utilities) may be considered part of their minimum wages with restrictions on the amount to be charged depending on the location of the apartment.
Wage order for farm workers
This wage order covers farm workers and agricultural workers under the age of 16 (discussed below in the child labor laws section) if the farm has paid out at least $3,000 to workers the previous year.
Within New York City, farm workers must be paid $15.00 per hour as of December 31, 2019. Also, as of December 31, 2019 (but with annual increases planned), those in Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester counties have a minimum rate of $13 per hour while the rest of the state has a minimum of $11.80 per hour.
The per piece rate under this wage order must result in an hourly rate equal to or higher than the hourly minimum wage.
Some meals and lodging may be considered part of minimum wages under this order but with restrictions on amounts and whether or not the worker is a migrant worker.
Under this wage order, those participating in qualified vocational or rehabilitation programs may be paid the rates applicable to those programs instead of the wages.
Nonprofit Wage Order
This order covers nonprofits who have elected to be covered by the nonprofit wage order regardless of type of industry, business or employee job duties.
Employees of nonprofits under this wage order will be paid according to state minimum wage rules outside of wage orders. However, there are many exceptions to who is considered an employee by this wage order.
As of December 31, 2019, executives and administrative employees of nonprofits paid by salary must be paid at least $1,125 per week within New York City, $975 per week in Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester counties, and $885 per week in the rest of the state. Increases annually for areas outside of New York City are planned through 2021.
Other exemptions without separate wage tables include farm labor, salesmen, taxicab drivers, members of a religious order, learners and apprentices. Some of the exceptions have additional requirements and restrictions for qualification.
Miscellaneous industries and occupations wage order
This wage order covers anyone not covered by another minimum wage order or employees of a nonprofit who elect to opt out of the nonprofit wage order.
While the minimum wage rate is the same as the primary state minimum wage rules for those covered by this wage order, it further includes items such as allowances.
This wage order allows employers to consider meals and lodging part of the minimum wage but limits the amount charged for each toward wages. Further, it forbids companies from requiring employees to pay for their own uniform maintenance as part of minimum wage calculations.