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Hospitality Industry for Employees: Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Will there be a new listing of Frequently Asked Questions regarding the Fast Food minimum wage increase?

A:

Yes. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for the Fast Food Industry will be coming soon.


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Q: What is the New York State minimum wage?

A:

Today the minimum wage is $8.75 an hour.  However, the minimum wage will increase to $9.00 per hour as of 12/31/15. 

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Q: Are future increases in the minimum wage expected?

A: The only scheduled minimum wage increase is to $9.00 per hour on 12/31/15.
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Q: Am I entitled to a pay raise when the minimum wage increases?

A: Almost every person who works in hotels or restaurants in New York State is covered by minimum wage law and regulations, and must be paid accordingly. If you earn less than $9.00/hr, and you are a non-tipped employee, you should expect an increase to at least $9.00/hour as of 12/31/15.
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Q: Will the cash wage for tipped employees increase?

A: Yes. The cash wage, or base service rate, for food service and service employees will increase to $7.50 per hour on 12/31/15.
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Q: How does the minimum wage increase affect non-service (non-tipped) employees, like cooks?

A: Non-service employees working in the hospitality industry must be paid an hourly rate, and their pay should be at least $9.00 per hour as of 12/31/15.
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Q: How does the minimum wage increase affect tipped employees?

A: The amount paid to tipped workers will increase whenever they work long hours (overtime pay, after 40 hours per week and "spread-of-hours" pay, after 10 hours per day) and when they are entitled to call-in pay and uniform maintenance pay.  In addition, whenever tipped employees receive less than $9.00 per hour in wages and tips, the employer will have to make up the difference by increasing the amount paid to bring the total of wages plus tips up to the minimum $9.00 per hour required for all workers. See further below for more FAQs related to these topics.
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Q: Will my employer still be able to take tip credits for all tipped employees?

A: It depends.  For food service workers, like waiters and bus persons, the employer will be able to take credit for any amount of tips received up to the new maximum tip credit of  $1.50 in 2016.  But for service employees, the minimum threshold amounts of tips that employees must receive before the employer can claim any tip credit will increase in proportion to the increases in the minimum wage.  For service employees generally, the minimum will increase to $1.95 in 2016.  For service employees at resort hotels, the minimum will increase to  $5.05 in 2016.
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Q: How does the minimum wage increase affect pay for spread of hours and call-in pay and overtime?

A: The increases in the minimum wage rate will increase all of those rates.  Spread of hours and call-in pay will increase by the same amount as the minimum wage because such pay requires additional hours to be paid at the minimum wage rate.  For overtime, which requires a 50% premium after 40 hours, the overtime pay will increase along with the minimum wage.
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Q: How does the minimum wage increase affect credits for meals and lodging provided to employees?

A: The credits that employers may claim for meals and lodging increase in proportion to the increases in the minimum wage for non-service employees, but they remain the same for tipped employees (food service workers and service employees). See the summary sheet for specific examples.
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Q: Does the minimum wage increase mean the employer has to pay more to employees who maintain uniforms themselves?

A: Yes. The uniform maintenance rate increases for all employees in the hospitality Industry. See the summary sheet for specific rates and the LS 400 for guidance on uniforms.
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Q: Will the employer have to pay me more if I work a shift, or shifts that extend over 10 hours?

A: Yes. The spread of hours pay is equal to 1 hour at the minimum wage rate. For each workday that a shift or shifts go over 10 hours, the employer must pay this “extra.” The amount will increase to $9.00 on 12/31/15.
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Q: Will the call in pay rates increase when the minimum wage increases?

A: Yes, because the call in pay rate is based on the minimum wage rate, call in pay rates will increase to $9.00/hr on 12/31/15.
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Q: What will the overtime rate be when the minimum wage increases?

A: The overtime rate of pay is always 1½ times your regular rate of pay. For example, $10.00 per hour regular rate = $15.00 per hour overtime rate.

For tipped employees earning a cash wage less than the minimum wage, the overtime rate is always 1 ½ times the minimum wage rate minus the applicable tip credit.

Here is an example of a food service employee who earns $7.50/hr for non-overtime hours and works 50 hours in a week.
Regular rate:  

 $9.00 per hour

Overtime rate:  $9.00 x 1.5 =

  $13.50 per hour

     
Wage rate for 40 hours:                          $ 9.00 - $1.50 (tip credit) =  

 $7.50 per hour

Wage rate for 10 hours:                          

$13.50 - $1.50 (tip credit) =

 $12.00 per hour

     
Wages due for the workweek:                                   $ 7.50 x 40 hours =

 $  300.00

  $ 12.00 x 10 hours =

 $120.00

                                                        Total= 

$  420.00


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Q: Does my employer have to give me a new pay notice because of the Minimum Wage increase?

A: Hospitality Industry employees must receive a new pay notice each time his or her pay rate changes.


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Q: Where can I get more information?

A: To see a copy of the Hospitality Industry Wage Order, Summary of Rates and Credits, or updated posters, visit our main web page If you would like to e-mail us, write to: LSAsk@labor.ny.gov.  To call us dial 1-888-469-7365
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