While significant attention has been paid to the Cuomo Administration’s decision to unilaterally increase the minimum wage for workers in the so-called “Fast Food” industry, New York employers must not lose sight of the following previously-enacted increases that will take effect on December 31, 2015:
President Obama raised the minimum wage and paid sick leave allowance for employees working under federal contracts and subcontracts. As these changes are due to take effect in 2016 and 2017, employers should begin preparing for them to avoid incurring liability for unpaid wages.
New York became the first state to set a $15 minimum wage for fast food workers. To expand that industry-specific pay hike, Governor Cuomo created the Mario Cuomo Campaign for Economic Justice to back efforts aimed at providing a $15 minimum wage for all employees in the State.
This year we have seen an unprecedented exercise of federal and state Executive Branch power to unilaterally increase private sector employee wages and other compensation. These measures portend a fundamental change the role of the Executive Branch in the labor market.