In April 2016, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill into law that would gradually increase the minimum wage in New York to $15 an hour. The legislation grouped New York into three different geographic areas: New York City, Long Island and Westchester, and the remainder of New York State. The hike in wages for each area will vary based on the geographic area an individual is employed in.
New York City has two separate subcategories: large employers and small employers. A large employer is considered to have a staff of eleven or more employees, while a small employer is considered to have a staff of ten or fewer employees. The incremental increase of the minimum wage depends on the type of employer you may work for. For large employers in New York City, the minimum wage increase will be fully implemented by the end of this year. For small employers in New York City, the $15 minimum wage will not be reached until the end of 2019.
Long Island and Westchester follow a different schedule than New York City. For this geographic area, the minimum wage will not reach $15 an hour until the end of 2021. As for the remainder of New York State, annual increases in wage will be implemented until the minimum wage reaches $15 an hour. According to the New York State Department of Labor, starting in 2021, additional annual increases will be published by the Commissioner of Labor on or before October 1. These increases will be based on percentage increases determined by the Director of the Division of Budget, which will be based on economic indices, including the Consumer Price Index.
The minimum wage increase is attributed to the initiative to restore economic justice and fairness for working families throughout New York State. Governor Andrew Cuomo is a supportive advocate for this initiative. He believes that working families do not deserve to be living paycheck to paycheck because of the enormous expenses incurred by living in New York. Many lower wage-earning New Yorkers have relocated to other parts of the country due to the elevated cost of living in the state. The goal of the initiative is to help more New Yorkers to continue to live in the state.
As an employee, it is important to take note of the area that you work in and the wage you are being paid. If you do not feel you are being paid the correct minimum wage, contact an experienced New York Employment Lawyer. Steven Mitchell Sack, The Employee’s Lawyer™, has handled thousands of employment cases and may be able to help you address your concerns and achieve justice. For more information or to schedule a consultation, call (917) 371-8000 or fill out our contact form.