Minimum Wage Tiered Hikes Begin, State Unit will Educate and Enforce

NYAPRS Note: New York workers will see the impact of the tiered minimum wage hike that went into effect this past Saturday in their next pay checks (see below for more details). This coming session, NYAPRS is joining forces with the Restore Opportunity Campaign to get state government to “fully fund nonprofits for the true cost of providing essential community services and to adequately compensate and retain a quality workforce.” See more at

Minimum Wage Task Force Will Spread The Word
Unit will also enforce law, which went into effect over the weekend

By Casey Seiler Albany Times Union January 2, 2017

Gov. Andrew Cuomo will dispatch a task force of 200 state employees to help educate businesses about the state's newly enacted minimum wage, and enforce any chronic violations of the law — the first in a series of steps toward the end goal of a $15-per-hour rate.

The governor, flanked at his Manhattan offices by Counsel Alphonso David and state Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon, said Monday the state would only seek to sanction employers whose wage violations were willful or egregious, and not merely the product of ignorance or error.

"This is a transition period," Cuomo said.

The new wage rates, which differ by region, went into effect Saturday. The state's minimum wage — formerly $9 outside of New York City — is now $9.70 upstate; $10 on Long Island and in Westchester County; and $11 in New York City — or $10.50 for businesses with fewer than 11 employees.

New York City workers will reach $15 by the end of 2018 for large employers and 2019 for small businesses; Long Island and Westchester County will get to $15 by the end of 2021. Upstate workers, however, will top out at $12.50 at the end of 2020.

Future increases on the road to $15 for upstate workers will depend upon approval of the state Budget Director, who will make a determination based on economic trends.

Cuomo said an estimated 730,000 minimum wage workers would benefit from the increase, with 250,000 of them raised above the poverty line thanks to the added income.

"So it is phenomenally consequential," he said.

The governor dismissed the idea that prices would go up markedly as a result of the boost. "The market will adjust, and the market is competitive," he said.