Attorney Steven Mitchell Sack, “The Employee’s Lawyer,” says fast food workers in New York State do not make enough money and should be able to earn at least $15 an hour. This, he says, will mean not only increased employee morale but employee retention.
One hundred twenty-six elected officials from New York State recently sent a letter to Governor Andrew Cuomo and acting state Labor Commissioner Mario Musolino urging them to raise the minimum wage for fast-food employees to $15 an hour. Currently, the minimum wage in New York State is $8.75 per hour; it is expected to go up to $9 an hour by the end of the year. The state’s wage board indicated it is considering raising the minimum wage but is unsure by how much.
The city of Los Angeles recently enacted a law that will raise the minimum wage to $10.50 an hour by July 1, 2016 for businesses with 26 or more employees and again to $15 an hour by 2020 for larger businesses and by 2021 for companies with 25 or fewer workers. In Seattle, Washington, the city raised its minimum wage to $11 an hour on April 1. The $15-an-hour rate is expected to take effect in three to four years for companies with 501 or more employees, and five to seven years for businesses with 500 or fewer employees.
“The state should follow the leads of Los Angeles and Seattle and implement a raise in the minimum wage that results in workers earning $15 an hour,” Mr. Sack says. “These fast-food workers do not make enough to live on, especially those in the metropolitan New York area — one of the most expensive areas to live in the nation. This will be a win-win: workers will be happier to bring home a bigger paycheck and companies will see a higher rate of employee retention.”
Mr. Sack is available to comment further on the subject.