As part of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s initiative to get fair pay for New York workers, Governor Cuomo secured three changes that became effective on December 31, 2015. First, New York State’s minimum wage increased from $8.75 to $9.00 per hour. Second, the tipped cash wage amount for tipped hospitality workers, such as hotel workers, increased to $7.50 per hour. Lastly, the minimum wage for workers in fast food chains in New York City increased to $10.50 per hour and $9.75 per hour for other fast food workers in the state. These rates will increase annually until they reach $15.00 at the end of 2018 for New York City and 2021 for the rest of the state. This change affects employees who work at fast food chains that have 30 or more locations nationally, such as Dunkin Donuts, KFC, McDonald’s, Pizza Hut, Subway, Taco Bell, Chipotle and others. This increase applies to workers who prepare food, stock shelves, clean, work security and perform other tasks. In addition to receiving the applicable minimum wage, these employees are also entitled to overtime pay at a rate of one-and-one-half times their regular rate of pay for all hours worked over 40 hours per week as well as spread-of-hours pay.
Employees and employers alike should be mindful of these recent changes.