Employers in New York State know that they are bound by many regulations designed to protect workers. These regulations may also provide essential guidance and assistance to businesses, unions and other entities as well. Many guidelines and programs connect directly to the number of hours worked by employees, making it important to understand how these working hours are identified.
According to the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor, a workweek may begin on any day of the week. Sunday and Monday may be the most common days on which a working week is designated to begin, but that does not mean other days cannot be identified as such. Starting from the first hour on the commencement day of the workweek, the entire workweek lasts exactly 168 hours, or a full seven days. This ensures that every workweek begins at the same time on the same day.
Why the workweek matters
It is the number of hours an individual employee works during the 168 hours of each workweek that dictates how much money they will be paid for that week. Any time worked beyond 40 hours shall be compensated at a rate of one-and-a-half times the standard hourly rate the employee would earn. Averaging working hours over multiple workweeks shall not be done.
This information is not intended to provide legal advice but is instead meant to give people and entities in New York State an overview of what the U.S. Department of Labor considers to be a workweek under the Fair Labor Standards Act and what that designation impacts.