$15 Minimum Wage

By NYC Hospitality Alliance

April 2, 2016

The State of New York has enacted its 2016-2017 budget, which includes a provision for raising the minimum wage in New York City, in increments, from the current $9 an hour level to $15 an hour by December 31st, 2018.

The new budget also increases the hourly wage for food service workers to 2/3 of the full minimum wage, when they also earn tips that bring their income level to at least the full minimum wage.
We at the New York City Hospitality Alliance understand the concerns of many in the business community about this dramatic 66% wage increase, tip wage increase, and its rapid implementation over such a short window of time. This wage increase comes on the heels of the 50% tip wage increase that took effect this year for workers who already make more than $15 an hour in tips - many businesses are still struggling to manage this increase.
We were at least able to push back on the strong movement to eliminate the tip credit.

Other jurisdictions which have recently passed similar minimum wage increases, even those going to $15 an hour, are implementing the increases over a longer period of time, allowing businesses more opportunity to adjust to these dramatically increased costs.

We also understand our community's concerns about the potential unintended consequences of this action, such as employee lay-offs and business closures. It will be unfortunate for our city and for all New Yorkers if these concerns become reality. We hope they do not.

This legislation creates great uncertainty for many businesses and is an example of aggressive government action making it more difficult than it already is for many of our city's small businesses to succeed.

The New York City Hospitality Alliance will issue a member advisory next week that will provide details of the minimum and tipped wage increase, including the amounts and dates of the scheduled increases. We will continue to work with our members to help them navigate these difficult and uncertain times.

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