Can an Employer Make me Agree to Waive Overtime? New York City Wage and Hour Attorney

When Employers Make You Waive Overtime, It Can be a Violation of New York Labor Law

Federal law under the Fair Labor Standards Act sets minimum wage requirements, which New York’s Labor Law complies with and adds additional requirements.  Under New York law, employers must pay employees who are eligible for overtime one and a half (1.5) times their regular rate of pay for all hours worked in excess of 40 in a workweek.  Because this can get expensive for employers, some employers think of creative ways around New York’s overtime laws.  One way includes having employees agree to waive overtime in a contract.

Our New York City wage and hour attorneys have seen this before as well as many other tactics used by employers to take advantage of employee’s rights.  Sometimes employers do not know that they cannot do this, while other times employers intentionally do this to avoid overtime obligations.  If you are an employee and think your rights have been violated, or if you are an employer and are not sure of your obligations, contact SAMUEL & STEIN to learn more about your rights and obligations.

Employers Generally Cannot Require Employees to Agree to Waive Overtime 

Under New York Labor Law, generally an employer cannot require an employee to agree to waive claims to overtime because this would circumstance both federal and state law.  It does not even matter if the agreement is in writing or contains other “consideration,” or other issues bartered/negotiated in the agreement.  One of the purposes of the Fair Labor Standards Act and New York’s Minimum Wage Orders are to protect employees from overbearing or abusive employers who are taking advantage of employees who are in need of work.

However, there are some exceptions.  The most common exception is if the employee is really an independent contractor and not an employee.  In this instance, the independent contractor is not subject to the overtime laws provided within the labor law, and the employer and independent contractor can negotiate whatever terms they deem appropriate in an employment agreement.  Many times this includes a flat rate for services as opposed to an hourly rate.  It should further be noted that there can be a blurry distinction between an employee and an independent contractor, and there have even been entire cases, trials, and appeals on whether an individual is an independent contractor or an employee.  If you are unsure, ask our NYC wage and hour attorneys.

Overtime Agreements in New York: New York City Wage and Hour Attorneys Can Explain Your Rights If Your Are Still Unsure

The experienced New York City Wage and Hour attorneys at SAMUEL & STEIN are dedicated to asserting and defending the rights of employers and working people throughout New York and New Jersey.  We have the resources, experience, and knowledge necessary to ensure your legal rights are protected and you are not taken advantage of.  Call us today by dialing (646) 681-4193 or use the convenient “Evaluate Now” box on our webpage.  Together we can help answer your questions and protect your rights.

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