Fast Food Wage Board Decision on $15 Minimum Wage Sends Warning Signals

Date: August 04, 2015

Increase will hurt small business hiring and trigger further discussion of wage hikes.

On July 22, a fast-food wage board appointed by the Governor recommended to increase the minimum wage for fast food workers from $8.75 to $15.00. The board recommended phasing in the increase in New York City by December 31, 2018 and the rest of the state by July 2, 2021. The wage increase applies to fast food chains defined as establishments that are part of chains that have 30 or more locations nationally.

Although the Acting Labor Commissioner can accept, reject or modify the proposal, the expectation is that it will be rubber-stamped following a public comment period.

Mike Durant, New York director of the National Federation of Independent Business, said in a statement that “small employers heavily rely on an entry level workforce and today’s decision will ultimately stifle the hiring ability for small business outside the fast food industry.”

Durant added that the recommendations “set a disastrous course for future minimum wage discussions.” Raising the wage for one industry may be unprecedented, and it sets the stage for employees across the board to demand higher wages. This could spur the Governor to appoint future wage panels to examine other industries  or encourage potential legislative action on another statewide minimum wage hike during the next legislative session

Related Content: Small Business News | Economy | New York

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