Let’s talk about overtime.

As a reminder, it’s “time+1/2” for over 40 hours/week in NY state. In a healthy economy – I get it. It’s a nice bonus to someone who puts in extra time.  But during a recession, it’s torture. In tight months – months when I was often not paying myself – my bakery simply couldn’t afford it. I watched the 40-hour mark like a hawk. And it’s awful on the staff. They beg for hours! Trust me – a 20 yr old in Manhattan would gladly work 70 if I let them at the regular rate. But instead I end up splitting  my payroll between 25 people when I’d much rather give it to the 15 who really deserve it and care.

During a recession, when margins and money is squeezed, the answer is more work. We all have to put in more hours and time and elbow grease. But NY laws have prevented that natural working solution.  Here’s my proposal – raise the overtime cutoff to 45, even 50 hours during recession years. Any other thoughts out there?