Workers' Bill of Rights

Download Workers' Bill of Rights (in PDF) in:

Note: Additional languages coming soon.


Workers in NYC have rights regardless of immigration status.

The Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) Office of Labor Policy & Standards is NYC’s central resource for workers. To contact DCA:

YOUR RIGHTS

Paid Sick Leave
If you work in NYC for more than 80 hours a year, you can earn up to 40 hours of sick leave each year to care for yourself, your child, or other family members.

If your employer has five or more employees, you have a right to paid sick leave.

If your employer has fewer than five employees, you have a right to unpaid sick leave.

It is illegal for an employer to retaliate against you for requesting or using sick leave.

For information or to file a complaint with DCA:
Under federal law, you may also have the right to take additional unpaid time off from work: Some workers who work for employers with more than 50 employees may take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave each year to care for themselves or a family member or to bond with a new child. The leave may be taken all at once or from time to time.

Starting January 2018, most workers in New York will be eligible to take paid family leave to bond with a new child, care for a close relative with a serious health condition, or address certain military family needs. The amount of leave and pay will phase in over four years, starting at eight weeks paid at 50% of the worker’s salary in 2018.

For information or to file a complaint, contact:

U.S. Department of Labor
866-487-9243 | dol.gov/whd

U.S. Department of Labor Division Office in NYC
212-264-8185

New York State Paid Family Leave
844-337-6303 | ny.gov, Search "Paid Family Leave"

Right to Organize
You can join together with your coworkers in a range of activities about work issues that matter to you, including whether you want to be represented by a union. Employers cannot threaten, discriminate against, or otherwise take action against you for organizing or talking with your coworkers about working conditions.

For information or to file a complaint, contact:

National Labor Relations Board
866-667-NLRB | 866-667-6572 | NLRB.gov

New York Regional Office (Manhattan/Bronx)
26 Federal Plaza, Room 3614
New York, NY 10278
212-264-0300

Brooklyn Regional Office (Brooklyn/Queens/Staten Island)
2 MetroTech Center
100 Myrtle Avenue, 5th Floor
Brooklyn, NY 11201
718-330-7713

Minimum Wage
You must be paid for every hour you work, including work before and/or after your scheduled shift and time spent traveling during the workday.

As of December 31, 2016, these minimum wages apply:

Minimum Wages in New York City – Rate Schedule 12/31/16 12/31/17 12/31/18 12/31/19
Fast Food Employers
Any number of workers $12.00 $13.50 $15.00
All Other Employers
10 or fewer workers $10.50 $12.00 $13.50 $15.00
11 or more workers $11.00 $13.00 $15.00

There are special rates for tipped workers.

For information or to file a complaint, contact:

New York State Department of Labor
888-469-7365 | labor.ny.gov

New York State Department of Labor – NYC District Office
212-775-3880

U.S. Department of Labor – Division Office in NYC
212-264-8185

Overtime
If you work more than 40 hours in a week, your employer must pay at least 1.5 times your regular rate of pay for hours worked over 40.

For information or to file a complaint, contact:

New York State Department of Labor
888-469-7365 | labor.ny.gov

New York State Department of Labor – NYC District Office
212-775-3880

U.S. Department of Labor
866-487-9243 | dol.gov/whd

U.S. Department of Labor – Division Office in NYC
212-264-8185

Discrimination-free Workplace
City, state, and federal law prohibit discrimination on the basis of a worker’s:
  • Age
  • Alienage or Citizenship Status
  • Color
  • Disability or Perceived Disability
  • Sex, Gender, or Gender Identity (includes Sexual Harassment)
  • Marital or Partnership Status
  • National Origin
  • Pregnancy
  • Race
  • Religion/Creed
  • Sexual Orientation
  • Arrest or Conviction Record
  • Caregiver Status
  • Consumer Credit History
  • Unemployment Status
  • Status as a Victim of Domestic Violence, Stalking, and Sex Offenses
  • Retaliation for Opposing Discriminatory Practices
  • Genetics
  • Familial Status
  • Military Status
The law prohibits discrimination in any decisions that affect the terms and conditions of employment.

For information or to file a complaint, contact:

NYC Commission on Human Rights
Call 311 or 718-722-3131 | nyc.gov/humanrights

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
800-669-4000 | eeoc.gov

New York State Division of Human Rights
888-392-3644 | dhr.ny.gov

Pay for Work Done as an Independent Contractor
If you are a freelance worker in NYC, you have legal rights that include:
  • Written Contract
    All contracts worth $800 or more must be in writing. This includes all agreements between you and the hiring party that total $800 in any 120-day period. The written contract must spell out the work you will perform; the pay for the work; and the date you get paid. You and the hiring party must keep a copy of the written contract.
  • Timely Payment
    The hiring party must pay you for all completed work. You must receive payment on or before the date that is in the contract. If the contract does not include a payment date, the hiring party must pay you within 30 days after you complete the work.
  • Right to Sue
    You can sue the hiring party in court to seek damages. If you are not timely paid for your work, you have a right to collect double the amount you weren’t paid, damages for retaliation, and payment of attorneys’ fees and costs.
For information or to file a complaint with DCA:

Safe and Healthy Workplace
Your workplace must be free of known health and safety hazards. You also have the right to receive information and training about job hazards.

For information or to file a complaint, contact:

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
800-321-OSHA | 800-321-6742 | OSHA.gov

Manhattan Area Office
201 Varick Street, Room 908
New York, NY 10014
212-620-3200

Queens District Office of the Manhattan Area Office
45-17 Marathon Parkway
Little Neck, NY 11362
718-279-9060

You may also be eligible for compensation to cover some portion of your wages and medical treatment if you suffer an on-the job-injury, no matter who is to blame.

For information or to file a claim for workers' compensation, contact:

New York State Workers’ Compensation Board
877-632-4996 | wcb.ny.gov

Brooklyn District Office (Brooklyn, Staten Island)
111 Livingston Street, 22nd Floor
Brooklyn, NY 11201

Manhattan District Office (Bronx, Manhattan)
215 West 125th Street
New York, NY 10027

Queens District Office
168-46 91st Street, 3rd Floor
Jamaica, NY 11432

INDUSTRY AND WORKER-SPECIFIC PROTECTIONS

Apparel Industry
Apparel workers must be paid at least the state hourly minimum wage and overtime, even if they are performing piecework. Employers must register with the New York State Department of Labor to operate in New York./div>

For more information, visit:
  • labor.ny.gov and search “Apparel Industry Task Force” (New York State)
  • dol.gov and search “Wage and Hour Division” (United States)

Building Service Workers
Depending on the type of building you work in, you may be covered by a law that requires your employer to pay a wage rate higher than the minimum wage.

For more information, visit labor.ny.gov and search “building service industry.”

NYC’s Displaced Building Service Workers Act requires certain new building owners, managers, contractors, and commercial lessees to retain pre-existing building service employees for a 90-day transition period. At the end of the transition period, you must be offered continued employment if the new employer considers your performance to be satisfactory.

Contact DCA’s Office of Labor Policy & Standards for information:

Construction Workers
If you are a construction worker in New York State, you are generally considered to be an employee protected by workplace laws. You can seek legal advice if you are a construction worker being treated as an independent contractor.

For more information, visit labor.ny.gov and search “construction workers.”

Domestic Workers
If you are a domestic worker, the New York Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights provides you with the right to overtime pay, a weekly day of rest, three paid days of rest each year, and protections from sexual and racial harassment. The City’s Paid Sick Leave Law provides you with an additional two paid sick days each year on top of the three annual paid days of rest.

Contact the Paid Care Division within DCA’s Office of Labor Policy & Standards for information about rights and resources:
For more information, visit labor.ny.gov and search “domestic worker.”

Fast Food Workers
As of December 31, 2016, the minimum wage for fast food workers was $12.00 per hour. Below are minimum wage rates in 2017 and 2018.
Rate Schedule 12/31/17 12/31/18
 
$13.50 $15.00

For more information, visit labor.ny.gov and search “fast food workers.”

Government Contract Work
Certain businesses that contract with government agencies to complete public works projects or perform certain services may be required to pay employees either a “prevailing wage rate” or “living wage rate,” which are higher than the minimum wage and provide benefits or an additional wage supplement.

For more information, visit:
  • comptroller.nyc.gov and search “Prevailing Wage” (New York City)ƒƒ
  • labor.ny.gov and search “The Bureau of Public Work” (New York State)ƒƒ
  • health.ny.gov and search “Medicaid Home Care Workers” (New York State)
  • dol.gov and search “Government Contracts” (United States)

Grocery Workers
If you work at a grocery store that is sold, the former owner must notify you about the change in ownership and your employment rights. Following the sale, the new owner is required to keep all of the existing staff employed at the store for at least 90 days after the date of sale. After 90 days, the new owner can decide whether or not to keep any of the existing workers as employees.

For information or to file a complaint with DCA:

Minors
There are limits on the type and hours of work that children under the age of 18 can perform.

For more information, visit labor.ny.gov and search “Laws Governing the Employment of Minors” (New York State).

Nail Salon Workers
The Bill of Rights for Nail Workers requires nail salons to meet certain safety requirements and pay proper wages.

For more information or to file a complaint:
  • Visit labor.ny.gov and search “nail workers.”
  • Call the Task Force Hotline at 888-469-7365.
  • Visit labor.ny.gov (to report abuse in the nail salon industry).

Tipped Workers
There are special wage rates and rules for workers who receive tips. In order to qualify to use these rates, an employer must give workers advance notice that they are claiming the tip credit, and they cannot take any part of your tips.

For more information or to file a complaint, contact:
New York State Department of Labor
888-469-7365 | labor.ny.gov

New York State Department of Labor – NYC District Office
212-775-3880

U.S. Department of Labor
866-487-9243 | dol.gov/whd

U.S. Department of Labor – Division Office in NYC
212-264-8185