New York Fast-Food Workers Demand a Higher Minimum Wage Rate

A new movement in New York to raise fast-food employees’ minimum wage rate has been taking momentum in the last few months. New York City’s Mayor de Blasio is among the supporters of raising the minimum wage of these employees to $15.00 per hour.  

The state labor commissioner has called a wage board to investigate the wages for fast-food employees in the hospitality industry. The wage board has received both written and oral testimonies from fast-food employees, employers, academics, policy experts, community, labor, and religious organizations, elected officials, and citizens. These testimonies along with statistics from the New York State Department of Labor’s Division of Research and Statistics were used to recommend on a fast-food industry minimum wage increase.

With confirmation that wages in the fast-food industry are insufficient, the wage board also worked on determining the appropriate minimum wage rates. Their main concern was determining if a significant increase in wages will create a positive or negative effect to the economy. The wage board recommends the following schedule:

For New York City, the minimum wage should be increased to

  • $10.50 on December 31, 2015
  • $12.00 on December 31, 2016
  • $13.50 on December 31, 2017
  • $15.00 on December 31, 2018

For the rest of the state, the minimum wage should be increased to

  • $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 July 1, 2021

These rates are still pending approval. Stay tuned for any new developments.  

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