NY Raises Minimum Wage to $15/hr. & 12 Weeks of Paid Family Leave

ALBANY, N.Y. —The New York legislature raised the state’s minimum wage for many workers in the city to $15 an hour by the end of 2018. Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) signed the law on April 4.

As part of the state budget, it also includes 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave, the most-generous such law in the U.S., the governor’s office said. That requirement will be phased in through 2021.

The minimum wage hike varies with the size of the business and the region of the state. Businesses with at least 11 workers would have to raise their minimum to $15 by the end of 2018 and small businesses would have to do so by the end of 2019.

All businesses on Long Island and in Westchester County would have to raise the wage to $15 by the end of 2021, while those in the rest of the state would have to raise it to $12.50 by the end of 2020, with a state board deciding on increases after that.

State AFL-CIO President Mario Cilento praised federation members and union locals who lobbied for the minimum wage hike and the paid family leave law. Both measures “are critically important to working people,” Cilento said. He estimated three million New Yorkers would benefit from raising the minimum wage.

In New York, the Democratic-run State Assembly voted 104-39 to raise the minimum wage 104-39. The split State Senate agreed, 61-1. All but three Assembly “no” votes came from Republicans, while the sole senator opposing the raise was Simcha Felder, D-Brooklyn.

The federal minimum wage, at $7.25 hourly, has not been raised since the GOP George W. Bush administration. Congress’ ruling Republicans have defeated repeated Democratic and labor attempts to increase the wage.

Source: PAI