New York Labor Law 191

Wage & Overtime

New York employers that pay their hourly employees every other week or twice a month may be violating the New York Labor Law. New York Labor Law 191 requires that manual workers be paid weekly. That means within seven days from the end of the week in which the wages were earned. 

What Does It Mean?
New York State employers must pay their employees who qualify as manual workers every week. They have seven days from the end of the week you worked to pay you for the work you did. But this only applies to people that are classified as manual workers.

What Is Considered Manual Labor?
In general, anyone that stands on their feet for most of their job is a manual worker. For example, a retail or restaurant worker. They could sit when the store is empty, or the restaurant is slow so they roll napkins. But for at least 25% of their job they are on their feet moving, lifting, stocking shelves, taking inventory, or doing something else active like customer service work.

Are There Any Time Limits?
Yes, New York workers have a 6 year statute of limitations to bring untimely wage payment claims.

Am I A Manual Employee?

The manual employee term can be confusing as most think of a specific type of job when they hear the words manual employee. Below are some jobs that can be considered manual employees:

  • Bartender
  • Barista
  • Brand ambassador     
  • Carpenter     
  • Cashier     
  • Customer service representative      
  • Hairdresser / Stylist     
  • Janitor     
  • Pharmacy technician     
  • Shipping & Receiving clerk     
  • Restaurant worker     
  • Sales Associate     
  • Security guard
  • Server     
  • Retail specialist     
  • Stocker     
  • Style consultant     
  • Supermarket employee     

Don't See Your Job Title Listed?

Just because your job title isn't listed above does not mean you are not considered a manual employee. One job can go by many different titles. For example, a waitress can be called waitress, wait staff, server, hostess, brand ambassador, food experience representative, and many more titles.  

How Do You Know If You Are A Manual Employee?

Job titles can be confusing, so the New York Department of Labor made a list of what they consider "manual workers." This includes individuals who spend 25% or more of their working time engaged in physical labor.

  •  Arranging inventory     
  •  Carrying trays     
  •  Cleaning or dusting 
  •  Heavylifting     
  •  Installing alarm tags     
  •  Merchandising     
  •  Monitoring for loss prevention     
  •  Operating machinery      
  •  Patrolling for theft     
  •  Removing secured items from shelves     
  •  Standing and walking for long periods of time     
  •  Stocking shelves, unpacking boxes, and bagging purchases     

How Do I Know If 25% of My Job Is Manual Work?

You don't have to perform one of these tasks every day. You might sit at the register for most of your day, but every night you have to sweep, clean, and restock. For others, you may never get a chance to sit all day. No matter what your day or work week looks like, if two hours of an eight-hour day are filled with manual work, you may qualify.

What Else Do I Need To Know About New York State Labor Law?

New York workers have a six-year statute of limitations to bring untimely wage payment claims. So even if you no longer work for your employer, if it has been less than six years, you may be able to file a claim.

What Do I Do Now?

The legal team at Outten & Golden is here to help you understand New York State Labor Law 191. Contact us today for a free and confidential review of your situation.