New York workers, along with workers in 18 other states, are ringing in 2017 with higher minimum wage laws. These increases are crucial to low wage workers as the federal minimum wage has remained stagnant at $7.25 per hour since 2009. With Andy Puzder, Chief Executive of CKE Restaurants and a vocal critic of efforts to increase the federal minimum wage, likely to be appointed as President-Elect Donald Trump’s Labor Secretary, workers will continue to depend on cities and states to take the lead in passing laws to ensure proper compensation by employers.
In New York, the minimum hourly wage was increased to $9.70 per hour and will continue to rise by $0.70 each year, reaching $12.50 per hour by the end of 2020. Workers in New York City and its surrounding suburbs have seen additional minimum wage increases. In New York City, the minimum wage was increased to $10.50 per hour for businesses with ten or fewer workers, and $11 per hour for businesses that employ more than ten workers. The minimum wage in New York City will continue to increase by $1.50 each year, rising to $15 per hour – more than twice the federal minimum wage – by the end of 2019. In Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester Counties, the minimum wage was increased to $10 per hour and will continue to increase by $1 each year, rising to $15 per hour by the end of 2021.
Both nationwide and in New York, these changes will considerably benefit low wage workers. David Cooper, an analyst at the Economic Policy Institute, told the Wall Street Journal, in a December 30th article, that “about 4.3 million low-wage workers across the country are slated to receive a raise because they earn less than the new minimum in their respective states” in 2017. Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office estimates that their $15 Minimum Wage Plan will “lift the earnings of more than 2.3 million New Yorkers” over the course of their plan.
The new state minimum wage increases that took effect on January 1, 2017, include:
· Alaska: $9.80 per hour.
· Arizona: $10 per hour.
· California: $10.50 per hour.
· Colorado: $9.30 per hour.
· Connecticut: $10.10 per hour.
· Florida: $8.10 per hour.
· Hawaii: $9.25 per hour.
· Maine: $9.00 per hour.
· Massachusetts: $11.00 per hour.
· Michigan: $8.90 per hour.
· Missouri: $7.70 per hour.
· Montana: $8.15 per hour.
· New Jersey: $8.44 per hour.
· New York: $9.70 per hour
· Long Island/ Westchester County $10 per hour.
· NYC (Small Employers) $10.50 per hour.
· NYC (Large Employers) $11.00 per hour.
· Ohio: $8.15 per hour. *
· South Dakota: $8.65 per hour.
· Vermont: $10.00 per hour.
· Washington: $11.00 per hour.
*Only for companies grossing over $297,000 per year. For employers grossing less, the Federal Minimum Wage rate of $7.25 still applies.
About Faruqi & Faruqi, LLP
Faruqi & Faruqi, LLP focuses on complex civil litigation, including securities, antitrust, employment law, wage and hour, and consumer class actions as well as shareholder derivative and merger and transactional litigation. The firm is headquartered in New York, and maintains offices in California, Delaware and Pennsylvania.
Since its founding in 1995, Faruqi & Faruqi, LLP has served as lead or co-lead counsel in numerous high-profile cases which ultimately provided significant recoveries to investors, consumers and employees.
About Innessa Melamed
Innessa Melamed is a Partner at Faruqi & Faruqi, LLP’s New York office and focuses her practice on employment law and wage and hour class action litigation.
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