Know Your Rights


Minimum Wage


The minimum wage is currently $14.20 an hour. Farm workers also have a minimum wage of $14.20/hour, with a “farm work agreement” that determines how the wage is earned and working conditions.

*This minimum wage is for outside of New York City, Westchester and Long Island.

Minimum Wage Schedule*




Minimum Wage per hour



*Outside of New York City

As of January 2021, New York State has not released information about further minimum wage increases outside of New York City.


Tipped Employees

-Tipped employees have a wage of $9.45 an hour with a minimum of $4.75 in tips OR paid by the employer

-The amount of tips earned or paid by the employer increases with the minimum wage

-Tipped employees are covered by overtime rules

-Employees that receive tips or gratuity may not have their tips demanded or accepted either directly or indirectly by an employer or on behalf of the employer


Temp Workers’ Rights

Temp workers have a right to:

Be free from discrimination by BOTH the agency they use and the host employer

-Be provided with identical or equivalent safety training to host employer’s non-temp employees

-The minimum wage




Most workers are entitled to 1 1/2 times your regular wage for all hours worked over 40 in a week

There are exceptions from overtime for:

  • Farm workers: Farm workers are entitled to overtime for all hours worked over 60 hours in a week
  • Administrative Employees: those who exercise discretion and independent judgement or have mostly  office/non-manual field work directly related to management policies 

  •  Professional Employees: those who have a 4-year degree or whose work is creative 
  • Executive Employees: those who can hire/fire and who regularly direct the work of two or more employees


Frequency of Pay

Most workers must be paid for their work within 7 days of the period in which it was earned.


Right to a Safe and Healthy Workplace

You have the right under U.S. health and safety laws to:

-Be trained in a language you understand

-A workplace safe and free of recognized hazards

-Raise health and safety concerns with your supervisor

-File a complaint with OSHA about unsafe or unhealthy conditions

-Refuse to do a job task that you reasonably think might put you in immediate danger

-Know about hazards in your workplace

-Not be discriminated against (fired, given a worse job, etc.) for reporting safety hazards (Whistleblower Protections)

-Access to records of medical test and test that monitor you work environment for hazardous materials

-Access to information about injuries and illnesses that happen in your workplace


Right to be Free from Discrimination

Title VII and the New York State Division of Human Rights protect employees from being discriminated against.

To file a discrimination claim, click here.


 Groups Protected from Discrimination



-National Origin




-Military Status

-Predisposing Genetic Characteristics

-Familial Status

-Martial Status

-Domestic Violence Victim Status


-Political Activities (outside of work)

-Recreational Activities (outside of work)

-Sexual Orientation

-Union Membership


Whistleblower Protection

It is illegal to penalize or fire an employee for making or filing a complaint to any government agency

An employer may not punish employees for reporting an employer to a government agency in good faith

An employer may be liable for retaliation for:

-Firing/laying off



-Denying Overtime/Promotion

-Failing to hire/rehire


-Making threats

-Reducing Pay

-Reducing Hours


-Denying benefits

-Reassignment affecting prospects for promotion

For more information on filing a complaint, click here or call the WNYCOSH Worker Center.


Right to Workers’ Compensation 

If you are injured on the job:

You are entitled to workers’ compensation insurance, even if you are paid “off-the-books” or “under-the-table”

You should complete an Employee Claim or C-3 form through your employer or you can receive assistance from the WNYCOSH Worker Center Hotline at (716) 206-3550.

For our Workers’ Compensation Guide, click here.

For questions or more information, please contact the WNYCOSH Worker Center at (716) 206-3550 or thru our contact form. You can also read our Worker Rights’ Handbook, which has more information on these topics and others.


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