Bi-Weekly Pay Can Violate New York’s Late Payment Law

The New York Labor Law requires “manual workers” to be paid weekly, never later than seven calendar days after the end of the week in which wages were earned. Under this late payment law, most workers in New York cannot be paid on bi-weekly or semi-monthly schedules. In New York, there are currently hundreds of employers who are paying their workers on a bi-weekly basis in violation of this late payment law.

Section 191 of the New York labor law considers an employee who spends more than 25% of his or her working time performing physical work a “manual worker.”  Physical work includes lifting, bending, installing, walking, running, turning, and organizing.  For example, a line cook in a restaurant is considered a “manual worker” because his job requires him to clean his station, lift and organize trays and plates, stir food in pots, walk in the line to pick up and stock cooking supplies, and cut vegetables and meat.  For example, a factory worker is a “manual worker” because she has to lift, carry, and organize boxes, place items into boxes, stock shelves, walk, and stand.  In other words, most retail, restaurant, warehouse, supermarket, factory, and construction workers must be paid on a weekly basis, and if they are not paid that way, they are entitled to significant monetary damages.

Under New York’s late payment law, employers who fail to pay their manual workers on a weekly basis must repay them all amounts paid later than seven days after the end of the workweek as liquidated damages.  In other words, the employee is owed all amounts paid late as liquidated damages. For example, a retail worker who stocks shelves in a store is paid on a bi-weekly basis. He is owed $800 for his first workweek and $800 for his second workweek. His employer pays him $1,600 four days after the end of the second week. The employer must pay the worker another $800 as liquidated damages, because that is the amount that was paid more than seven days after the end of the first workweek.

If you are a manual worker being paid on a bi-weekly basis, you may be owed significant amounts in liquidated damages under New York’s late payment law. For more information on your rights to make a claim for untimely pay, call the attorneys at Pechman Law Group PLLC for a free consultation.


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