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NEW YORK — New York State is set to become the first state in the nation to have a $15 per-hour minimum wage. Acting State Labor Commissioner Mario J. Musolino on Thursday signed an order designating a $15 per-hour statewide minimum wage for fast-food workers.
The minimum wage will raised incrementally each year. In New York City, the minimum wage will increase to $10.50 per hour on Dec. 31; $12 on Dec. 31, 2016; $13.50 on Dec. 31, 2017; and $15 on Dec. 31, 2018.
Statewide, the minimum wage per hour will rise to $9.75 on Dec. 31; $10.75 on Dec. 31, 2016; $11.75 on Dec. 31, 2017; $12.75 on Dec. 31, 2018; $13.75 on Dec. 31, 2019; $14.50 on Dec. 31, 2020; and $15 on July 1, 2021.
“If you work full time, you shouldn’t have to live in poverty — plain and simple,” said New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who announced passage of the law alongside Vice President Joe Biden at New York City’s Javits Convention Center. “Raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour will add fairness to our economy and bring dignity and respect to 2.2 million people, many of whom have been forced to live in poverty for too long.”
On May 7, Cuomo instructed Musolino to empanel a wage board to investigate and make recommendations on a minimum wage increase for fast-food workers. The Fast Food Wage Board filed its report on July 31, recommending the state raise its minimum wage. Per statute, Musolino had 45 days following the report to sign the wage order.
Although New York fast-food employees are sure to be happy with such a measure, convenience store operators are perhaps not. James Calvin, president of the New York Association of Convenience Stores (NYACS), previously told CSNews Online that the cost implications associated with the proposal could be a major blow to many of its retailer members.
"Convenience store chain and franchise operators are stunned that the State of New York would try to order them to artificially double their payroll costs without the consent of the elected legislature, without concern for how it would affect prices or employment, and without regard for the degree to which their stores are engaged in foodservice,” Calvin said in July.