Just before 2017 arrives, tens of thousands of minimum wage workers in New York state will move closer to the coveted $15 an hour goal.
Earlier this year, the $15 minimum wage increase was passed as part of the 2016-2017 New York State budget, making New York the first state in the nation to enact a minimum wage that high. Local unions have been championing a $15 minimum wage for several years.
“No one who works full-time should be condemned to a life of poverty, and that’s why New York took action to raise the wage and provide the opportunity of a decent life to millions of hard-working New Yorkers,” Governor Andrew Cuomo said. “As we reach this milestone for a more fair and a more just New York, we are reminding workers they are owed a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work and this administration will work to ensure they receive the wage increase to which they are entitled.”
It is estimated that nearly 2 million people across the state will be affected by the minimum wage increase. According to Cuomo’s office, approximately 861,895 people in New York City are currently earning less than $15 per hour.
For workers employed at a large business (11 employees or more), the minimum wage will rise to $12 per hour in New York City by the end of 2016 and increase by $1.50 after each year, making the minimum wage $15 by Dec. 31, 2018. For workers employed by small businesses (10 employees or fewer), the minimum wage will grow to $10.50 by the end of 2016 and will increase $1.50 after each year, making the minimum wage $15 by Dec. 31, 2019.