Salary Updates for 2020

Over the past few years, New York State has been raising the minimum salaries for administrative and executive exempt employees. That means that regardless of duties, your administrative and executive exempt employees will need to make a least:

  • NYC Large Employers (11 or more employees) – $58,500 annually as of 2019;
  • NYC Small Employers (10 or fewer employees) – $58,500 annually for 2020 (increased from $52,650 annually in 2019); and
  • Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester Counties – $50,700 annually for 2020 (increased from $46,800 annually in 2019).

The U.S. Department of Labor has finally followed suit and increased the amount of money all exempt employees must make across the United States. As of January 1, 2020, all exempt employees must make at least $35,568 per year. Employers may use non-discretionary bonuses and incentive payments – including commissions – that are paid at least annually to satisfy up to 10% of this minimum salary level.

As a brief refresher, generally exempt employees fall within one of three categories: 1) administrative; 2) executive; and 3) professional. Administrative employees are those whose primary duties include office/non-manual work that is directly related to the management or general business operations of the employer and includes the exercise of discretion and independent judgment. Executive employees are those whose primary duties include managing the business and directing the work of at least two full-time employees.

Professional exempt employees are typically divided into two categories: i) learned professionals whose primary duties require advanced knowledge in a field of science or learning which was acquired by a prolonged course of specialized intellectual instruction; or ii) creative professionals whose work involves invention, imagination, originality or talent in a recognized field of artistic or creative endeavor.

So, what does the DOL increase mean for you and your employees? This means that regardless of duties, in order to be exempt from overtime pay an employee must make over these threshold salary amounts. In New York, your administrative and executive employees should already make enough to comply with the DOL increase. But, for your professional exempt employees, you need to review their salaries to ensure that these folks are all making over $35,568. You also need to look at employees outside of New York to make sure all those employees are making at least $35,568, annually.

Please review your salary information for those employees making less than $35,568. Also, for your administrative and executive employees in NYC, Long Island and Westchester, please note the salary increases for 2020 stated above.

If you have any questions about complying with these new salary requirements, please call us.


Written by Julie Sitler and Desiree Saad