Under New York State labor law manual workers are required to be paid on a weekly basis.

To ensure that Justworks and your company are compliant with the applicable laws, and that your employees are paid when they’re supposed to be, we need you to confirm which of your employees that work in New York State should be classified as manual workers based on their day-to-day duties.

What is a "manual worker"?

The DOL’s long-standing test is that employees who spend more than 25% of their working time engaged in “physical labor” will be considered a “manual worker.” However, this test is not a fail-safe, as the term “physical labor” has been interpreted broadly by the DOL to include a number of physical tasks performed by employees. Using this broad interpretation, the DOL has determined that a wide variety of industries and jobs, including hairdressers, pizzeria workers, and chauffeurs fall into this category and should be paid weekly. Some examples include:

  • Chauffeurs
    • Load and unload luggage
    • Open and close doors
    • Required to regularly wash cars
  • Pizzeria workers
    • Physical preparation
    • Packaging and clean up in the making and sale of pizzas
    • Lifting and carrying large and heavy items
    • Cleaning and operating equipment
    • Cleaning the area where food is prepped
  • Hairdressers
    • Cutting, coloring, washing, and styling hair
    • Cleaning work stations, sinks, equipment, and other shared work spaces

Can Justworks tell me if I have manual workers?

Unfortunately, we’re unable to make this decision for you because the assessment depends on the day to day activities of your employees, and cannot be made through job titles and/or written descriptions of the role. Many employers seek independent legal advice counsel to make this specific determination.

Where can I find more information about determining if an employee is a manual worker?

The DOL has published opinion letters which represent the views of the DOL when they were written.

Some relevant letters include:

Interpretation of the term "manual worker"



I'm still unsure. What should I do?

If you’re unsure of how to classify your employee, we recommend running your payroll on a weekly basis.

What changes if I have employees that are ‘manual workers’?

We need to move your employees to a weekly payroll. For your hourly employees, instead of filling out timecards every other week, you’ll be filling them out weekly. The payroll processing timeframe will remain the same. All hours need to be entered and submitted by Monday at 2pm. Employees will be paid on the following friday. For salaried employees, they will be paid for the week worked (Sunday to Saturday) on the following Friday. For example, for the pay period of October 2, 2016–October 8, 2016, the pay day would be October 14, 2016.

If you miss a payment, you’ll be able to schedule an off-cycle payment on a weekly basis.

How will I know if a new employee should be paid on a weekly basis?

This depends on the employee and their day to day responsibilities per the tests for a manual worker. If based on the job duties and responsibilities of the new employee they should be classified as a manual worker, and they are employed in New York state, then they should be paid on a weekly basis.

Can I pay my employees in the same way as before (e.g. biweekly/semimonthly)?

If you are confident that none of your employees should be classified as manual workers, your payroll schedule can remain the same.


This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, legal or tax advice. If you have any legal or tax questions regarding this content or related issues, then you should consult with your professional legal or tax advisor.

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