As we advised in the December 2009 issue of the New Jersey eAuthority, on November 5, 2009, the Commissioner of the New York Department of Labor issued an order adopting many recommendations of the Wage Board concerning hotel and restaurant workers. Among those recommendations were a staged increase in the tipped minimum wage for food service workers (to $4.75 an hour as of the effective date of the regulations, and then $5.00 an hour thereafter), requiring notice of tip allowances, and providing more specific guidance on certain uniform issues. Since the Commissioner’s Order, New York hotel and restaurant employers have been anxiously awaiting the issuance of regulations to implement those changes.
We have recently been advised by the NY DOL that it will issue proposed regulations through the regulatory process “in the very near future,” which will be published in the New York State Register. Upon publication, the regulations will have a 45-day notice and public comment period before they could become effective (unless they are implemented as Emergency/Proposed Rulemaking, in which case they would become effective immediately notwithstanding the comment period). Ogletree Deakins will notify its clients as soon as these regulations have been published.