New York Upholds $15 Minimum Wage Law for Fast Food Workers in Landmark Decision

The New York Industrial Board of Appeals upheld the decision to gradually increase the minimum wage to $15 for fast food workers
By 2018, every fast food worker in New York City will be making $15 per hour.


By 2018, every fast food worker in New York City will be making $15 per hour.

Governor Andrew Cuomo’s decision to increase the minimum wage law to $15 per hour for New York fast food workers is one step closer to being put into full effect.The New York Industrial Board of Appeals recently upheld the minimum wage law, which would increase in gradual increments until reaching the $15 per hour law in 2018 for New York City, and 2021 for the rest of the state. New York State fast food workers will now be making at least $30,000 annually by the year 2021.

The labor board rejected claims by the National Restaurant Association that the proposed law was unconstitutional because it unfairly targeted restaurants that will have to pay each minimum wage worker on average, $11,000 more annually than non-fast food restaurants and retail stores. Non-fast food minimum wage employers will instead have to comply with a $9 per hour minimum wage increase, which will be put into effect on December 31 this year.

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“We find nothing in the statute to prohibit (the labor commissioner) from issuing a minimum wage order that classifies employees based on the number of locations their employers are affiliated with," the industrial board stated in its ruling. “The commissioner has authority under the law to investigate the adequacy of wages in any occupation, which can be done for a subset of a segment of an industry and requires a record establishing a factual basis for doing so.”