NY Proposes $15 Minimum Wage for Fast Food Workers

New York Wage Panel recommends increased minimum wage for fast food workers.

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After appointment by Governor Andrew Cuomo, the New York Wage Panel recommended increasing the minimum wage to $15 per hour for workers at fast food chains with 30 or more stores nationally. If Acting Labor Commissioner Mario Musolino approves this recommendation, the new policy will take effect without requiring approval from the state legislature.

The panel defined fast food establishments as businesses where a customer orders and pays for food and beverages before eating and is served the orders at a counter with the option of eating in the restaurant or elsewhere.

New York has roughly 180,000 fast food workers who will benefit from what will be a 70% increase from the state’s current minimum wage of $8.75.

Proposed Increase to Happen in Phases

The Panel said the first increase should come by December 31, 2015, taking the minimum in the city to $10.50 and in the rest of the state to $9.75. The wage in New York City would then rise in increments of $1.50 annually for the next three years, until it reaches $15 at the end of 2018. In the rest of the state, the hourly wage would rise each year, reaching $15 on July 1, 2021. Wages would be raised faster in New York City than in the rest of the state to account for the higher cost of living there.

GovDocs Compliance Research Counsel, Anne Jakala, Esq., noted

Compliance & Research will continue to monitor for official changes by the Commissioner and because the new recommendation has a separate city wage increase schedule from the State, we will continue to monitor to see if a separate New York City Minimum Wage poster is released.

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