The NY Working Woman's Pocket Guide

Other Important Workplace Laws

There are several other important laws to be aware of as a working woman in New York, including minimum wage, overtime, and benefits for off-the-job and on-the-job injuries.

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Minimum Wage

The minimum wage is going up in New York over the next few years. Here’s the breakdown:

If you work in New York State, the minimum wage is $11.80/hour. Beginning December 31, 2020, the minimum wage will increase from $11.80/hour to $12.50/hour.

If you work in New York City, the minimum wage is $15/hour.

If you work in Long Island or Westchester, the minimum wage is $13/hour. Beginning December 31, 2020, the minimum wage will increase from $13/hour to $14/hour.

Special wage rates apply if you are a tipped worker.


If you are an hourly employee and you work more than 40 hours in one week, your employer must pay you at least 1.5 times your regular rate of pay for those additional hours worked. This is a federal law.

Note: You may be entitled to overtime even if you are paid a salary.

Fair Scheduling

If you make minimum wage and your employer schedules you for a shift, and you report to work, you may still be entitled to pay even if you are no longer needed for work that day. This is a growing area of law and New York may be expanding protections around fair scheduling.

Do I have additional protections if I work in New York City?

  • If you are a fast food worker in New York City and work for a chain that operates 30 or more restaurants, you likely have the right to advance notice of your schedule, access to your hours, and may not be required to work two shifts with fewer than 11 hours between the end of a shift and the beginning of the next one.
  • If you are a retail worker in New York City and work for an employer with 20 or more employees, you likely have the right to advance notice of your schedule and may not be scheduled for on-call shifts.
  • Most employees in New York City have the right to:
    • A temporary schedule change due to a “personal event” two times a year — for up to one business day per request.
      • A personal event includes the need to care for a child under 18, care for a family member or someone who lives with you who has a disability and relies on you for care, the need to attend a legal proceeding or hearing for benefits, or the need for safe or sick time.
      • This right is separate from your right to earn up to 40 hours a year of earned sick time if you are covered under that law. (See the Earned Sick Time section for more information.)
    • Request a change to your schedule without risking retaliation from your employer. Your employer is not required to approve your request to change your schedule but also cannot punish or discipline you for requesting it.

On-the-Job Injuries & Illnesses

If you are injured on the job—no matter who is at fault—you may be eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits to cover a portion of your wages and medical needs.

Off-the-Job Injuries & Illnesses

New York law also gives most workers the right to temporary disability insurance (TDI), sometimes known as disability benefits (DB). TDI gives you the right to partial wage replacement while you are unable to work due to an off-the-job illness or injury, including pregnancy-related disabilities and recovery from childbirth. TDI benefits are capped at a maximum of $170 per week.

For more information about how TDI interacts with New York paid family leave, click here.

Unemployment Insurance

If you lose your job and are able to continue working, you may be eligible to receive unemployment insurance benefits.

Other Anti-Discrimination Laws

In New York, employers cannot discriminate against you based on age, race, creed, color, national origin, sexual orientation, military status, sex, disability, predisposing genetic characteristics, familial status, marital status, or domestic violence victim status.

Do I have additional protections in NYC?

Yes. If you work in New York City, your employer cannot discriminate against you based on:

  • Age
  • Alienage or citizenship status
  • Color
  • Disability
  • Gender (including sexual harassment)
  • Gender Identity
  • Marital Status and Partnership Status
  • National origin
  • Pregnancy
  • Race
  • Religion/Creed
  • Sexual orientation
  • Sexual and Reproductive Health Decisions
  • Status as a Veteran or Active Military Service Member

You also have additional protections in New York City based on your:

  • Arrest of conviction record
  • Caregiver status
  • Credit history
  • Unemployment status
  • Salary history
  • Status as a victim of domestic violence, stalking, and sex offenses

Fair Practices for Farm Workers

New laws passed in New York State give farm workers the right to unionize, collect overtime pay for working more than 60 hours in a week and eventually 40 hours, and have at least one day off per week.

Note: These rights do not extend to small family farms. This means that if you are the parent, spouse, child or other family member of your employer, you are not covered.

A couple additional notes:

  • These laws apply to you regardless of your immigration or citizenship status.
  • The information listed in this section does not constitute legal advice. It is always advisable to consult with an attorney about your individual circumstances if you have questions or think your rights as a worker have been violated.
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