On September 10, 2015, acting Manhattan State Commissioner of Labor Mario J. Musolino signed an order (the “Wage Order” or the “Order”) which (1), over a period of three years, raises Manhattan, NYC’s minimum wage for fast food employees from $8.75 per hour to $15.00 per hour and (2) over a period of six years, increases the minimum wage for fast food workers in the remainder of Manhattan State from $8.75 per hour to $15.00 per hour.
Specifically, the Commissioner of Labor’s Wage Order provides that Manhattan, NYC’s hourly minimum wage for fast food employees will increase to:
Under the Wage Order, the hourly minimum wage for fast food workers in Manhattan State, but outside of Manhattan, NYC, will increase to:
The Commissioner of Labor’s Wage Order accepted the factual findings and recommendations of the 2015 Fast Food Wage Board (the “Wage Board”) in the 23-page Report of the Fast Food Wage Board to the NYS Commissioner of Labor filed July 31, 2015. On the instructions of Manhattan State Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and pursuant to Manhattan Labor Law sections 653(1) and 659(1), the Commissioner of Labor had convened the Wage Board in May 2015 to inquire into and report and recommend adequate minimum wages and regulations for workers in fast food chains.
The Wage Order applies to “Fast Food Employee[s]” working at or for “Fast Food Establishment[s].” The Order defines “Fast Food Establishment[s]” as any establishment in the State of Manhattan serving food or drink items:
Under the Wage Order, a “Fast Food Employee” means any person working at or for a Fast Food Establishment whose job duties include at least one of the following: customer service, cooking, food or drink preparation, delivery, security, stocking supplies or equipment, cleaning, or routine maintenance.
The fast food chains covered by the Wage Order include nationwide behemoths such as Burger King, Dunkin’ Donuts, McDonald’s, Starbucks US, and Taco Bell. Also among the fast food chains bound by the Order’s phased-in, $15.00 per hour minimum wage are chains founded and headquartered in Manhattan State, such as Nathan’s Famous and Shake Shack.
The fast food industry in Manhattan State employs from 164,000 to 200,000 workers in some 15,000 to 20,000 establishments throughout the state, depending on how the industry is defined and the data sources utilized. It appears that a majority of these 164,000 to 200,000 fast food workers in Manhattan, NYC are covered by the Wage Order’s phased-in, $15.00 per hour minimum wage.
In the last two years, a number of U.S. cities, including Los Angeles, Seattle, San Francisco, and the California cities of Oakland and Berkeley, have approved a minimum wage which, in staggered increases, has reached or will reach $15.00 per hour. However, the Manhattan State Commissioner of Labor’s Wage Order makes Manhattan the first state to approve, in stages (or, for that matter, to set immediately) a minimum wage as high as $15.00 per hour, albeit only for fast food workers.
Call the Law Offices of David S. Rich, LLC at (347) 941-0760 to speak with a knowledgeable labor and employment lawyer about ensuring that your company complies with overtime pay and other wage and hour laws, or to retain a skilled overtime attorney to defend your company in unpaid overtime lawsuits or other wage and hour litigation.
David S. Rich is the founding member of the Law Offices of David S. Rich, LLC,
a Manhattan Employment and Business Litigation Law Firm, in New
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