New York State Will Increase the Minimum Wage for Fast food Workers to $15/Hour

The appeal of working a minimum wage fast food job is about increase a little – if only monetarily.

Yesterday, it was announced that New York State will gradually raise the minimum wage for fast-food workers to $15 an hour.

It marks the first time any state has set the minimum that high. A growing number of American cities, however, have moved toward a $15 minimum wage. This includes Los Angeles, Seattle, and San Francisco, among others, who have approved phased-in increases that eventually will take their minimum wage to $15 an hour.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he’d work to make the $15 minimum apply to all employees.

“Every working man and woman in the state of New York deserves $15 an hour,” the governor said. “We’re not going to stop until we get it done.”

The wage hike for fast-food workers in New York will be phased in over three years in New York City and over six years elsewhere in the state. It will apply to some 200,000 employees at large chain restaurants.

Currently, fast food workers earn $8.75/hour, which forces many into poverty as costs of living continue to rise (and let’s not forget they don’t have the luxury of universal free healthcare).

While some restaurant owners are naturally not thrilled with the increase, it should be kept in mind that – while the $15/hour increase may seem high for flipping burgers – they’re still only earning about $31,200 a year.