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New York Set to Raise Minimum Wage to $15 Per Hour

By Staff


McDonaldsA state wage board appointed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo recommended July 22 that the minimum wage for fast-food chain restaurant employees throughout the state be raised to $15 an hour.

New York City restaurants will have until Dec. 31, 2018, to phase in the increase; the rest of the state will have until July 1, 2021.

“This is one of the really great days of my administration,” Gov. Cuomo said in a tweet Wednesday.

Cuomo created the wage board in May, in an effort to bypass Republican opposition in the state legislature.

The board said the increase will be phased in annually, and apply to fast-food restaurant chains with 30 or more locations.

Acting Labor Commissioner Mario Muslino will have the final say on the matter, and is expected to sign the order to raise the wage, following the board’s filing of its recommendation.

Advocates of the increase said the move will quickly advance pay raises for employees in other industries across the state.

However, opponents of the increase, namely the restaurant industry, have said they’ve been unfairly targeted by Cuomo.

“From day one Governor Cuomo’s wage board has sought to silence the business community and force through an unfair and discriminatory increase on a single sector of one industry,” Melissa Fleischut, President and CEO of the New York State Restaurant Association said in a statement. “The result is an extremist policy that will force business owners in this low profit margin industry to cut hours, lay off employees and use technology to help offset skyrocketing labor costs.”

The wage board’s decision has followed numerous protests by low-wage workers across the nation, who’ve demanded an increase in the state’s minimum wage.

Other cities, including Seattle, San Francisco, and Los Angeles have also recently implemented increases in minimum wage.

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2020.