On December 27, 2023, and just in time for the 2024 ball to drop, the New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL) finalized the salary thresholds for exempt employees that were proposed as a part of Minimum Wage Order Updates in October 2023. Similarly, New York passed Senate Bill S5572 in September 2023, increasing the salary thresholds for exempt employees under Article 6 of the New York Labor Law.

As a reminder, the classification of exempt or non-exempt is particularly important for determining which employees are (1) exempt from the overtime laws, meaning that such employees are not eligible to receive overtime pay, and (2) exempt from certain wage payment laws under New York Labor Law Article 6.

While similar, the requirements for overtime exemption are different from the requirements for Article 6 exemption. As such, New York employers must be mindful of both salary threshold increases coming in 2024. 

Increased Salary Thresholds for Certain Overtime Exemptions Beginning January 1, 2024:

In New York, to be exempt from the overtime laws, employees must meet one of the applicable exemptions. Two of the most commonly used and important exemptions are the executive exemption and the administrative exemption. Both exemptions require that the employees (1) satisfy the applicable duties test, and (2) meet a salary threshold established by the NYSDOL.

Last week, the NYSDOL published finalized regulations to increase the salary thresholds for exempt employees through 2026, which took effect January 1, 2024.

For New York City, Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester counties:

  • 2024 – $1,200.00/week ($62,400.00 per year)
  • 2025 – $1,237.50/week ($64,350.00 per year)
  • 2026 – $1,275.00/week ($66,300.00 per year)

For the rest of New York:

  • 2024 – $1,124.20/week ($58,458.40 per year)
  • 2025 – $1,161.65/week ($60,405.80 per year)
  • 2026 – $1,199.10/week ($62,353.20 per year)

Before this increase took effect, the minimum salary threshold was $1,125 a week ($58,500 per year) for New York City and Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester counties, and $1,064.25 a week ($55,341 per year) for the rest of New York.

Increased Salary Thresholds for Article 6 Exemption Beginning March 13, 2024:

Article 6 of the New York Labor Law imposes several requirements on employers, including requirements to  (1) pay clerical or other non-manual workers no less frequently than semi-monthly (see NYLL § 191(d)); (2) obtain employees’ advance written consent before paying wages via direct deposit (see NYLL § 192); and (3) provide benefits or wage supplements within 30 days after they become due (see NYLL § 198-c). Specifically, these three requirements under Article 6 do not apply with respect to employees who both (1) satisfy the applicable duties test for a bona fide executive, administrative, or professional capacity, and (2) meet the salary threshold. Although these requirements are similar to the overtime exemption requirements described above, the salary threshold is different.

Currently, the salary threshold requires employees to be paid more than $900 per week ($46,800 per year) to be exempt under Article 6. However, beginning March 13, 2024, employees must be paid more than $1,300 per week ($67,600 per year) to be exempt under Article 6.

Employers should be aware that, because of the different salary threshold requirements, a given employee may be exempt from overtime, Article 6 requirements, or both.

New York Minimum Wage Increases Effective January 1, 2024:

 Also, as a reminder for employers, New York’s minimum wage increased January 1, 2024 and  will continue to increase over the next couple years to the following rates:

For New York City, Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester counties

  • 2024 – $16/hr
  • 2025 – $16.50/hr
  • 2026 – $17/hr

For the rest of New York:

  • 2024 – $15/hr
  • 2025 – $15.50/hr
  • 2026 – $16/hr

Notably, New York has a separate minimum wage for home care aides. Effective January 1, 2024, the minimum wage for home care aides increased to $18.55 an hour in New York City, Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester counties, and $17.55 for the remainder of the state.

Employers should also make sure they have the most up-to-date wage notices posted at their workplace or job site.

Jessica Hajdukiewicz, a Law Clerk – Admission Pending (not admitted to the practice of law) in the firm’s New York office, contributed to the preparation of this post.

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