New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has liberal Democrat deep in his heritage — and the governor’s administration has fought for a rise in the minimum wage for fast food workers in the state. The current minimum wage in New York is $8.75 an hour. Cuomo’s push was challenged in various ways. Franchisees are displeased, you might say, about the change, which will be phased in incrementally beginning in New York City. One challenge that looked to have teeth was to Cuomo’s ability to enact a law that affected just a single industry (fast food), while leaving low-wage workers like Walmart employees behind.
This week the New York Industrial Board of Appeals denied an appeal by the National Restaurant Association to reverse the wage order, saying it arbitrarily targeted restaurant owners. The Board found that the administration is within its rights to establish new wage baselines “for a subset of a segment of an industry.” The increments won’t trickle down statewide to workers fully until 2021, when the $15 minimum will be required for all fast food employees. In NYC the deadline is 2018.