The state’s Industrial Board of Appeals voted unanimously to uphold Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Fast Food Wage Board’s decision to increase the fast-food minimum wage to $15 in restaurants with more than 30 locations nationwide.
The National Restaurant Association appealed the state’s plans to phase in the increase for New York City restaurants by 2018; and for the rest of the state by 2021.
Cuomo created the wage board in May, following numerous protests by low-wage workers across the country, and in an effort to bypass Republican opposition in the state legislature.
“Today’s decision by the Industrial Board of Appeals to uphold the fast food minimum wage increase is a tremendous victory for working men and women across New York,” the governor said in a statement. “When New York State set the fast food industry on the path to $15 earlier this year, it made a fundamental difference in the lives of more than 200,000 low-income workers and families. No one who works hard should ever be condemned to a life of poverty, and that’s why we are continuing the fight today. We will not stop until we ensure a new standard of economic justice for all workers – and when New York acts, the rest of the nation follows.”
Cuomo also announced a minimum wage increase for state workers in November; workers in New York City will earn $15 an hour by the end of 2018, and state workers outside of New York City will see wages rise incrementally, to $15 an hour by the end of 2021.
The state’s current minimum wage is $8.75, and has been scheduled to increase to $9 by the end of the year.
Mayor Lovely Warren also announced she would raise the minimum wage for city employees to $15 per hour last month, on the same schedule as the wage increase for state employees.