Unique Aspects of New York State Payroll Law and Practice

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The New York State Agency that oversees the collection and reporting of State income taxes deducted from payroll checks is:

Department of Taxation and Finance
New York State Income Tax Bureau
W.A. Harriman Campus
Albany, NY 12227-0125
(800) 225-5829 (in state)

New York requires that you use New York form “IT-2104, Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate” or a Federal W-4 Form for New York State Income Tax Withholding.

Not all states allow salary reductions made under Section 125 cafeteria plans or 401(k) to be treated in the same manner as the IRS code allows. In New York cafeteria plans are not taxable for income tax calculation; taxable for unemployment insurance purposes. 401(k) plan deferrals are not taxable for income taxes; taxable for unemployment purposes.

In New York supplemental wages are taxed at an 8.2% flat rate.

W-2s are not required to be sent in New York.

The New York State Unemployment Insurance Agency is:

Division of Unemployment Insurance
State Campus, Bldg. 12
Albany, NY 12240
(518) 457-2635

The State of New York taxable wage base for unemployment purposes is wages up to $8,500.00.

New York requires Magnetic media reporting of quarterly wage reporting if the employer has at least 250 employees that they are reporting that quarter.

Unemployment records must be retained in New York for a minimum period of three years. This information generally includes: name; social security number; dates of hire, rehire and termination; wages by period; payroll pay periods and pay dates; date and circumstances of termination.

The New York State Agency charged with enforcing the state wage and hour laws is:

Department of Labor
Division of Labor Standards
State Office Bldg. Campus
Building 12, Rm. 532
Albany, NY 12240
(518) 457-4321

The minimum wage in New York is $5.15 per hour.

The general provision in New York concerning paying overtime in a non-FLSA covered employer is one and one half times regular rate after 40-hour week.

New York State new hire reporting requirements are that every employer must report every new hire and rehire. The employer must report the federally required elements of:

  • Employee’s name
  • Employee’s address
  • Employee’s social security number
  • Employer’s name
  • Employers address
  • Employer’s Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN)

This information must be reported within 20 days of the hiring or rehiring.
The information can be sent as a W4 or equivalent by mail, fax or electronically.
There is a $20.00 penalty for a late report and $450 for conspiracy in New York.

The New York new hire-reporting agency can be reached at 800-972-1233 or 800-225-5829 or on the web at http://www.tax.state.ny.us/wt/newhire.htm

New York does not allow compulsory direct deposit

New York requires the following information on an employee’s pay stub:

  • Gross and Net Earnings
  • explanation of wage computation if requested
  • itemized deductions

New York requires that employee be paid no less often than semimonthly; weekly for manual workers (semimonthly if commissioner of labor agrees); less frequently for FLSA-exempt employees paid over $600 a week.

New York requires that the lag time between the end of the pay period and the payment of wages to the employee not exceed seven days for manual workers.

New York payroll law requires that involuntarily terminated employees must be paid their final pay by next regular payday (by mail if employee requests) and that voluntarily terminated employees must be paid their final pay by the next regular payday or by mail if employee requests it.

Deceased employee’s wages of $30,000 must be paid within 30 days of death to the designated beneficiary or surviving spouse; $15,000 within 31 days to 6 months to the surviving spouse, adult children, parent, sibling, niece or nephew, creditor, or person paying funeral expenses (in that order); $5,000 if more than 6 months after death to distributee, creditor, or funeral expenses.

Escheat laws in New York require that unclaimed wages be paid over to the state after three years.

The employer is further required in New York to keep a record of the wages abandoned and turned over to the state for a period of 5 years (after Dec. 31 of year report is filed).

New York payroll law mandates no more than $1.85 may be used as a tip credit.

In New York the payroll laws covering mandatory rest or meal breaks are only that all employees must have 30 minutes for noon meal from 11 a.m.- 2 p.m. (60 in factory); another 20 minutes from 5 p.m.-7 p.m. if shift starts before 11 a.m. and goes after 7 p.m.; 45 minutes during shift of at least 6 hours starting between 1 p.m. and 6 a.m. (60 in factory).

New York statute requires that wage and hour records be kept for a period of not less than six years. These records will normally consist of at least the information required under FLSA.

The New York agency charged with enforcing Child Support Orders and laws is:

Division of Child Support Enforcement
New York State Department of Family Assistance
40 N. Pearl St.
Albany, NY 12243
(518) 474-9081

New York has the following provisions for child support deductions:

  • When to start Withholding? First pay period after 14 days from service.
  • When to send Payment? Within 7 days of Payday.
  • When to send Termination Notice? “Promptly”
  • Maximum Administrative Fee? no provision
  • Withholding Limits? Federal Rules under CCPA.

Please note that this article is not updated for changes that can and will happen from time to time.

Charles J. Read, CPA has been in the payroll, accounting and tax business for 30 years, the last fifteen in private practice. Mr. Read is the author of “How to Start a New Business”.

For Professional Payroll services at a Budget Price go to http://www.PayrollonaBudget.com a Paperless Payroll Company.

Go to http://www.CustomPayroll.com For a full service payroll service bureau with CPA’s on staff.

See an excerpt of Mr. Read’s interviews from William Shatners “Heartbeat of America” television show on the websites linked above.

New York Minimum Wage

Labor.State.Ny.Us – Online Services for New York Employers – Worker Protection – Unemployment Insurance – Workers Extended Benefits. View a online summary of the NYS wage and hour laws that are  Worker Protection Forms & Documents ; Start Your Job Search. Current Openings.

Wage and hour law in New York differs from Federal labor laws in a few key ways. The state of New York has certain labor laws in place to protect the rights of employees above and beyond the general U.S. standards as outlined in the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Individuals who have not received treatment in accordance with NY state law may be entitled to back wages and should contact a New York wage and hour attorney for assistance.

Minimum Wage Law in New York

Though the minimum wage in New York is the same as the Federal minimum wage ($7.25 an hour), there are a few provisions for New Yorkers that the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) does not guarantee.

For one, New York employees that are required to wear a uniform cannot have the cost of purchasing and maintaining that uniform cancel out their minimum wage. That is, if the cost and maintenance of the uniform brings their wages below $7.25 an hour, the employer must cover the expenses. That means any employee currently making minimum wage cannot be required to purchase a uniform him or herself. This, however, generally does not include the “black pants, white shirt” dress code many restaurants use.

New York Overtime Pay

As stated in the FLSA, most employees working in excess of 40 hours in a single workweek must be paid time-and-a-half for the overtime. Yet, while that document excludes live-in (or “residential”) employees, New York overtime law guarantees them overtime as well, provided they work over 44 hours in a workweek. All employers are to keep records of the hours and pay rates of their employees, including in-house workers.

Overtime pay is a legal right of employees who are considered non-exempt by Federal and New York employment law. New York employees who have been denied overtime that is owed to them may be entitled to back wages to make up for the money they have earned, but not been paid. Under the protection of law, these employees may take legal action to recover the earnings they have lost.

Meal Time, Breaks, and Labor Law

In New York, all employees meeting certain shift requirements are owed an uninterrupted meal period. If a worker’s shift lasts at least six hours, begins before 11 am and ends at 2 pm or afterward, he or she is entitled to a 30-minute break. Employees employed by or in connection to a factory are entitled to a 60-minute lunch between 11 am and 2 pm.

Any breaks under 20 minutes must be compensated as work hours, including overtime, if applicable. More provisions and exceptions are outlined at the NYS Department of Labor website.

Labor.State.Ny.Us – Visit IQ Overtime for more New York Wage and Hour law information, or to contact a New York labor law attorney to review your claim.

Patrick Hanan is a Writing and Content Specialist for IQ Overtime. Visit IQ Overtime today to learn more about overtime scams and the basics of New York overtime law, or to find an overtime lawyer in New York.