Work Usage in New York City


Working Hours in New York

A typical work week includes Monday to Friday from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM making up a typical 40-hour workweek.

However, this can vary greatly from job to job, as some positions require workers on "swing shift" (work at night for example) or employees to regularly come in on the weekend. Some salaried professionals are expected to put in much longer hours exceeding 60 hours a week, especially as they establish themselves in their career. 

Public Holidays in New York State

There are 12 public holidays in New York State each year. Public holidays commemorate a special day, for example, Martin Luther King's Birthday or Christmas Day. On a public holiday, sometimes called a bank holiday, government and public institutions and schools are closed. However, it is not compulsory for private businesses to close so many restaurants and shops may stay open. Public transport also operate but often with restricted schedules.

The list of public state holidays recognized by New York State is as follows:

  • New Year's Day: January 1st
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day: Third Monday of January
  • President's Day: Third Monday of February
  • Memorial Day: Last Monday of May
  • Independence Day: 4th of July
  • Labor day: First Monday of September
  • Columbus Day: Second Monday of October
  • Veterans Day: November 11th
  • Thanksgiving Day: 4th Thursday of November
  • Christmas Day: December 25th

If a holiday falls on a Sunday, it is commonly observed on the following Monday. However, some holidays that fall on Sundays, like Easter, are not federal holidays.

If employees are required to work on holidays, they are commonly offered premium wage rates such as 1.5 time.

Vacation Days

In New York, an employer is not required to provide employees with vacation benefits, either paid or unpaid. If an employer chooses to provide such benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract.                       `          

However, it is common practice for employers to offer two weeks of paid vacation time. More than 90% of all full-time employees receive paid vacation. Vacation days must be planned in advance, generally one month before the leave is to be taken.

Wages & Salaries in New York State

Since December 31st 2018, The Minimum Wage Act (Article 19 of the New York State Labor Law) requires that all employees in New York State receive a minimum wage of $13.50 per hour for an adult employee working in a businesses with 10 or fewer employees, and $15.00 per hour for those working in a businesses with 11 or more employees.

Means of compensation in New York State:

  • Wage earners are compensated on a per-hour basis,
  • Salaried workers are compensated on a per-week or per-job basis,
  • Commission workers get paid according to how much they produce or sell.

Work Contracts in New York

An employment contract must be made in writing and has to have two copies: one for the employee, the other for the employer. In general, contracts have to be concluded for an indefinite term. The Labor Code allows for finite term contracts only in a few cases, most notably, for seasonal or casual work, or paid public work.

The statement of terms must include the following information:

  • Full name of employer and employee
  • Address of the employer
  • Place of work
  • Title of job or nature of work
  • Date the employment started
  • If the contract is temporary, the expected duration of the contract
  • If the contract of employment is for a fixed term
  • Details of rest periods and breaks
  • Rate of pay or method of calculation of pay
  • Pay reference period for the purposes of the Minimum Wage Act
  • Pay intervals
  • Hours of work
  • Details of paid leave (if any)
  • Sick pay and pension (if any)
  • Period of notice to be given by employer or employee
  • Details of any collective agreements that may affect the employee's terms of employment


You may be entitled to notice if you are being let go from your job. This means that you are given notice that your job will end and the date in the near future when this will come into effect. The length of notice you are entitled to, will depend on your contract of employment.

However, New York is an "employment-at-will" state, which means employers can terminate employees at any time for any reason (unless a law or agreement prevents otherwise).  Within 5 days of actual termination, employees must be notified in writing of the exact date of termination as well as the exact date of cancellation of benefits due to termination of employment.

Written notice must be provided on a form furnished or approved by the Department of Labor and must include:

  • Employer's name
  • New York State Employer Registration Number
  • Mailing address where the form LO 400, Notice of Entitlement and Potential Charges, should be sent
  • Statement instructing the employee to have the form available when filing a claim for benefits.  

Under the New York WARN law, employers who employ 50 or more full-time employees must give at least 90 days' advance written notice before mass layoffs, relocations, and plant closings.

Update 13/02/2020


Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Pinterest Addthis

Recommended Partners

When you move internationally you are taking a big step. Lots of things are changing and you have a million things to think about and take care of. If you are able to select a top of the line moving company that moves for a modest price, it can take a big weight of your shoulders in busy times.

Our network of international removal companies can move your furniture & possessions to Usa and anywhere overseas.

Filling in the form at the bottom will allow you to request up to 5 quotes from various moving companies. This service is free of charge and will help you select an international moving company that suits your needs and budget.

Do you have comments or personal information to communicate about this article? Add your comment.

Find more definitions and general answers on expatriation issues in the Expat FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions).

Go to the Forum to talk more about work usage in New York City, at work.

Download the full digital PDF expat guide in New York City

Download the guide: New York City, Usa
  • See in one single booklet all the articles for a city guide for expatriates.
  • Enjoy full colour photos to illustrate each section.
  • Additionnal maps: Region, City view, Neighborhood, Street view.

  • - My Life Abroad -
    A selection of expat stories

    "A fun compulsive read!"
    J. Matcham, Amazon

    "I strongly advise people ready to live abroad to read this book!"
    Patrice, Amazon