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News & Press: Laws & Regulations

Wage Changes for 2016

Monday, December 07, 2015   (0 Comments)
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New Year’s means the famous ball dropping celebration in Times Square, countdowns, loved ones, and yes, changes to all of your favorite New York State labor regulations. The New York State Restaurant Association has all the info you need to know for the New Year.


Non-Tipped, Non-Fast Food Workers

Effective December 31, 2015 the following changes in state regulations will affect your business:

  • The minimum wage will increase to $9.00 from $8.75 per hour.

  • The overtime rate for non-tipped workers will increase to $13.50 from $13.13 per hour.

  • The rate for spread-of-hours increases to $9.00. View our handy infrographic with all the info you need on New York’s spread of hours law.

  • The minimum salary that must be paid to qualify an employee for the executive, administrative, or professional exemption to overtime pay increases to $675.00 from $656.25 per week.

  • Uniform maintenance pay increases as follows:
    • for employees that work more than 30 hours per week, to $11.20 from $10.90;

    • for employees that work 20 to 30 hours per week, to $8.85 from $8.60; and

    • for employees that work fewer than 20 hours per week, from to $5.35 from $5.20.


Tipped Employees

The cash wage for all tipped employees will increase to $7.50 from $5.00, effective December 31, 2015. The overtime rate for tipped workers will increase to $12.00 from $9.38 per hour. Previously, there were different wage rates for food service workers, delivery drivers, and hotel service workers, but going forward in the New Year all tipped employees will be paid the same wage rate. Remember that if a tipped employees’ wages plus tips do not equal the full minimum wage rate the employer must make up the difference.


Fast Food Workers

The NYS Department of Labor has instituted a $15 minimum wage for fast food employees phased in over several years. This higher minimum wage applies to limited service fast food restaurants that have 30 or more locations nationally. Read the full definition of fast food worker and the full wage order here.


In New York City the minimum wage for fast food employees will be $10.50 on December 31, 2015.


For the rest of the state it will be $9.75 on December 31, 2015.


Fast food workers are not eligible for a tip credit; this includes delivery drivers.


Read the FAQs on the fast food wage order from the NYS Dept. of Labor.



  • All employees must be notified of any wage change and tip credit information in writing. Here is a sample pay notice from the NYS Dept. of Labor.

  • The meal credit for food service workers will remain capped at $2.50 per meal. For non-service workers and fast food workers the meal credit is $3.10.

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