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NYS Minimum Wage Hike – What You Should Know

On July 22, 2015 the NY Wage Board voted unanimously to increase
the minimum wage for fast food workers in New York State to $15
an hour. Currently, the minimum wage in New York State is $8.75
an hour and is scheduled to increase to $9.00 on December 31,
2015. Approval from the Labor Commissioner must be made within 45
days of receiving the final recommendations from the NY Wage

Other cities like, Los Angeles and Seattle have passed laws that
have increased the minimum wage to $15 an hour, but this would be
the first increase specifically aimed at one industry. New York
City and the rest of New York State will see the
minimum wage increase at different rates. If approved, New
York City will see an expedited minimum wage increase for
fast food workers reportedly due to the higher cost of living
associated with residing in New York City. The board indicated
that the first wage increase for fast food workers would take
place by December 31, 2015 taking the minimum wage for fast food
workers in New York City to $10.50 an hour. In New York
City the minimum wage would increase rapidly each year by
$1.50 until $15.00 an hour is reached on December 31, 2018.

For the rest of New York State’s fast food workers, minimum wage
is expected to increase as follows:

  • $9.75 on December 31, 2015
  • $10.75 on December 31, 2016
  • $11.75 on December 31, 2017
  • $12.75 on December 31, 2018
  • $13.75 on December 31, 2019
  • $14.50 on December 31, 2020
  • $15.00 on December 31, 2021

According to the Report of the Fast Food Wage Board to the NYS
Commissioner of Labor, “fast food employees shall mean any person
employed or permitted to work at or for a Fast Food Establishment
by any employer where such person’s job duties include at least
one of the following: customer service, cooking, food or drink
preparation, delivery, security, stocking supplies or equipment,
cleaning, or routine maintenance.” The report further clarifies
that a fast-food establishment is defined as having a “primary
purpose serving food or drink items: where patrons order or
select items and pay before eating and such items may be consumed
on the premises, taken out, or delivered to the customer’s
location.” Additionally, the organization must have at least 30
restaurants nationwide in order to be required to comply with the
new minimum wage increases if approved.

The Report of the Fast Food Wage Board to the NYS Commissioner of
Labor can be viewed here.

As always, we invite our Helpline clients to call with any

HR Works, headquartered in Upstate New York, is a human resource management outsourcing and consulting firm serving clients throughout the United States for over thirty years. HR Works provides scalable strategic human resource management and consulting services, including: affirmative action programs; benefits administration outsourcing; HRIS self-service technology; full-time, part-time and interim on-site HR managers; HR audits; legally reviewed employee handbooks and supervisor manuals; talent management and recruiting services; and training of managers and HR professionals.