New York has voted to raise the minimum wage for fast-food workers to $15 an hour. The change is slated for late 2018, and it will affect over 180,000 workers. The vote was undertaken by the New York Wage Board and was approved by all members.
While the vote is seen as a major victory by wage lobbyist, it still must be approved by the state labor commissioner. The vote is expected to pass. The current nation-wide minimum wage is $7.25 per hour. Individual states, companies and employers can offer more than the minimum wage to their employers. Currently, New York’s minimum wage is $8.74.
Since 2012, New York has seen a number of protest and rallies regarding the minimum wage for fast-food workers. One of the focus points for the group as well as the voting panel was that over half of fast-food workers relied on government assistance to pay for daily needs such as food and housing. The board voted after listening to the testimony of fast-food workers.
Other states have already raised their fast-food minimum wage. Kansas raised its statewide minimum wage to $13.00 and California voted to raise it to $15.00 in some counties. The wage hike will progressively increase starting on December 31st.