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What Rights Do Employers Have to Issue Background Checks?

Per state and federal law, an employer may check a job applicant’s or employee’s background, including for criminal records. However, it’s important for employers to ensure their compliance with laws and regulations that protect employees from discrimination.

New York Labor Law Vs. Federal Law

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is a federal law which applies in all states, and sets the floor for regulations concerning wages, overtime, and hourly work. The FLSA allows individual states to pass laws that go further than the federal law, extending the law more generously in favor of employees.

Unfortunate Delay In Expansion Of Overtime Law

The Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) generally requires that employees receive extra over time pay calculated at time and one-half (or 150%) of their regular rate of pay for each hour worked in over 40 hours in a week. However, the FLSA does not require that overtime pay be paid to employees who perform “executive,” “administrative,” or “professional” work. These are known as the “white collar” exemptions.

New York Increases The Minimum Wage

On April 4, 2016, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a law which will significantly increase the minimum wage in New York State from the current rate of $9, to $15 by the end of 2018 for many businesses in New York City, and to $15 by the end of 2021 for the New York City commuter counties of Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester. The minimum wage for the remainder of the state will reach $12.50 by the end of 2020. In enacting this law, New York joins California as the only two states in the country, which have instituted a $15 minimum wage.