The New York State Department of Labor formally adopted new wage orders today that raise the weekly salary thresholds for exemption as an executive or administrative employee from the current $675 per week ($35,100 annually) to new levels that differ based on employer size and location.

Effective December 31, 2016, the new salary thresholds in New York are as follows:

New York City: $825 per week ($42,900 annually) for employers with 11 or more employees; $787.50 per week ($40,950 annually) for employers with 10 or fewer employees.

Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester counties: $750 per week ($39,000 annually).

Other parts of New York: $727.50 per week ($37,830 annually).

The weekly salary thresholds will increase annually until the salary threshold reaches $1,125 per week ($58,500 annually) in New York City, Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester counties and $937.50 per week ($48,750 annually) in other parts of the state. New York City will reach $1,125 per week for employers of 11 or more employees the soonest, by the end of 2018. The new weekly salary thresholds do not apply to exempt professionals (learned or creative); there continues to be no salary threshold for these exempt professionals under New York law.

Employers whose exempt executive and administrative employees are currently paid less than the new salary threshold (based on number of employees and location) must increase those salaries to the new minimum beginning with the paycheck or direct deposit covering December 31, 2016. The salary may not be prorated for the workweek in which December 31 falls, even though the wage orders were not finalized until today, or else the affected employees will lose the exemption for the workweek.

Alternatively, employers may convert exempt employees earning less than the new salary threshold to non-exempt (i.e., overtime-eligible) beginning with the first day of the workweek in which December 31 falls.

Note that the federal Department of Labor overtime rule, recently preliminarily enjoined by a court in the Eastern District of Texas and pending appeal at the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, has no impact on the New York increases. Regardless of whether the federal rule ever takes effect, employers with New York employees must comply with these new wage orders.

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Photo of Allan Bloom Allan Bloom

Allan Bloom is the co-chair of Proskauer’s Labor & Employment Law Department and a nationally recognized litigator and advisor who represents employers, business owners, and management in a broad range of employment and labor law matters. As a litigator, Allan has successfully defended…

Allan Bloom is the co-chair of Proskauer’s Labor & Employment Law Department and a nationally recognized litigator and advisor who represents employers, business owners, and management in a broad range of employment and labor law matters. As a litigator, Allan has successfully defended many of the world’s leading companies against claims for unpaid wages, employment discrimination, breach of contract and wrongful discharge, both at the trial and appellate court levels as well as in arbitration, before government agencies, and in private negotiations. He has secured complete defense verdicts for clients in front of juries, as well as injunctions to protect clients’ confidential information and assets.

As the leader of Proskauer’s Wage and Hour Practice Group, Allan has been a strategic partner to a number of Fortune 500 companies to help them avoid, minimize and manage exposure to wage and hour-related risk. Allan’s views on wage and hour issues have been featured in The New York Times, Reuters, Bloomberg and Fortune, among other leading publications. His class-action defense work for clients has saved billions of dollars in potential damages.

Allan is regularly called on to advise operating companies, management companies, fund sponsors, boards of directors and senior leadership on highly sensitive matters including executive and key person transitions, internal investigations and strategic workforce planning. He has particular expertise in the financial services industry, where he has litigated, arbitrated, and mediated disputes for more than 20 years.

A prolific author and speaker, Allan was the Editor of the New York State Bar Association’s Labor and Employment Law Journal from 2012 to 2017. He has served as an author, editor and contributor to a number of leading treatises in the field of employment law, including ADR in Employment Law (ABA/Bloomberg BNA), Employment Discrimination Law (ABA/Bloomberg BNA), Cutting Edge Advances in Resolving Workplace Disputes (Cornell University/CPR), The Employment Law Review (Law Business Research, U.S. Chapter Author), and The Complete Compliance and Ethics Manual (SCCE).

Allan has served as longtime pro bono counsel to Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and The Public Theater, among other nonprofit organizations.  He is a past Vice Chair of Repair the World, a nonprofit organization that mobilizes volunteers and their communities to take action to pursue a just world, and a past recipient of the Lawyers Alliance Cornerstone Award for extraordinary contributions through pro bono legal services.

Allan is a Fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers and has been recognized as a leading practitioner by Chambers since 2011.

Photo of Rachel Philion Rachel Philion

Rachel S. Philion is a partner in the Labor & Employment Law Department, co-head of the Wage and Hour Practice Group and a member of the Employment Litigation & Arbitration and Class and Collective Actions Practice Groups.

Rachel represents management across all industries…

Rachel S. Philion is a partner in the Labor & Employment Law Department, co-head of the Wage and Hour Practice Group and a member of the Employment Litigation & Arbitration and Class and Collective Actions Practice Groups.

Rachel represents management across all industries in a broad array of employment matters, including wage-and-hour, discrimination, harassment, retaliation, as well as whistleblowing, wrongful discharge and breach of contract disputes.  In addition to jury trial experience, she has extensive experience litigating nationwide class and collective actions.

In addition to Rachel’s active employment litigation practice, she regularly advises clients on litigation avoidance strategies and compliance issues, conducts wage and hour audits and leads workplace investigations.

Rachel was selected as a “Rising Star” by The Legal 500 for 2019 and New York Super Lawyers for 2017-2019.  She is a current member of the Committee on Labor and Employment Law of the New York City Bar Association, and a past member of the Executive Committee of the Labor and Employment Law Section of the New York State Bar Association and former co-chair of the Section’s New Lawyers’ Committee.