New York State's push toward a $15 minimum wage takes a planned step forward on New Year's Eve Day when a bill signed earlier this year by Gov. Andrew Cuomo takes effect.
While deadlines for the full pay increase vary by county and company size, the law requires all businesses in New York to increase their minimum wage from $8.75 per hour beginning on Saturday.
In Westchester, Nassau and Suffolk counties, the minimum wage has now increased to $10 per hour. The pay rate in the three counties will then increase by $1 annually until the $15 per hour minimum wage mark is met at the end of 2021, according to Cuomo.
For workers in Rockland, Putnam, Dutchess and the rest of the state, the minimum wage increases to $9.70, then another .70 each year after until reaching $12.50 on Dec. 31, 2020 – after which will continue to increase to $15 on an indexed schedule to be set by the Director of the Division of Budget in consultation with the Department of Labor.
The rate at which New York City businesses will increase their wages depends on company size.
Those companies with 11 employees or more will increase minimum salaries to $11 per hour at the end of this year and then provide an annual $2 increase until reaching $15 per hour at the end of 2018, according to Cuomo.
New York City businesses employing 10 of fewer people are set to increase their minimum wage to $10.50 per hour at the end of this year and then provide an annual increase of $1.50 until reaching $15 per hour at the end of 2019, according to Cuomo.
Companies across the remainder of the state will increase their minimum wages to $9.70 per hour at the end of this year and then provide a $0.70 pay increase each year until reaching $12.50 on New Year's Eve in 2020, according to Cuomo.
According to the governor, those businesses will then provide their workers with minimum wage increases on an indexed schedule to be set by the state's Division of Budget in consultation with the state's Department of Labor.
When the schedule is concluded, the $15 minimum wage increase will have been enacted statewide across all industries, according to Cuomo, who said the move is expected to increase earnings for 2.3 million people.
While signing the bill to increase the state's minimum wage, Cuomo also signed into a law a plan that will require businesses to provide 12 weeks of paid family leave to anyone caring for an infant or a family member with a serious health condition.
That program, which also provides 12 weeks of paid leave to anyone relieving pressures created when a family member is called to active military duty, will begin a three-year phase-in starting in 2018, according to the governor's office.