New York Labor and Employment Law Basics

Learn how to comply with NYS labor law

An examination of New York labor and employment law basics should include finding ways of protecting your business and employees. The primary goal of labor and employment laws is to equalize the power between employers and employees, who are frequently represented by labor unions.

Labor laws in New York may include both state and federal statutes. Federal laws regulate workers' rights to organize and override most state labor and employment laws. However, federal laws generally do not apply to agricultural workers, domestic employees and employees of local or state governments. There are three general areas of labor and employment law regulated by states:
  1. NY labor law on wages and benefits. Many states have laws giving a minimum wage that is higher than the federal standard and also provide laws that protect workers excluded by the Fair Labor and Standards Act (FLSA).
  2. Display requirements for labor law posters. New York employers must prominently display posters in the workplace with specific information on federal and New York labor laws.
  3. Workers compensation insurance. New York has minimum coverage requirements for employees who experience work-related injuries. Employers frequently consult with New York employment law firms to ensure their worker's compensation insurance coverage is adequate.

Learn about New York labor law that regulates minimum wage and overtime

According to New York labor law, businesses must pay their employees the greater of the state or federal minimum wage. Overtime laws generally control what an employee should be paid after 40 hours of work in the same week.

Find out how to display posters on New York labor law

New York labor law posters keep employees informed of their rights and obligations under federal and state labor laws. Employers must display these posters in the workplace in a visible location where they are easy to read.

Provide workers' compensation insurance required by New York labor laws

Workers' compensation insurance in New York protects employees and their families in the event of injury or death of the employee while on the job. Government websites, insurance agencies and labor lawyers in New York commonly have basic information on workers compensation.

  • New York labor laws generally have the presumption that workers not covered by an employment agreement are "at will" employees who may be fired without notice or cause. However, these employees may be protected under laws that cover specific activities, such as organizing unions or whistle blowing.