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April 1, 2016 Labor /Human Resources Committee Update

Contact: Frank Kerbein

Minimum Wage

After much debate, the Legislature adopted a new minimum wage for New York State that includes different scheduled increases for different parts of the state. The schedule is as follows:

For New York City, large employers (defined as employers of eleven or more):

For New York City, small employers (defined as employers of ten or less):

For the downstate counties of Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester:

For the remainder of the State (Outside of the city of New York and the counties of Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester):

In addition, the wage for an employee who is a food service worker receiving tips shall be a cash wage of at least two-thirds of the minimum wage rates in effect for each region.

As part of this agreement, the Governor is precluded from using wage board authority to implement a higher minimum wage than provided for in this implementation schedule; the agreement also authorized the Department of Labor to modify the fast food wage order to conform with this minimum wage schedule.

Paid Family Leave

New York State has adopted the most expansive paid family leave policy of any state. Amending Section 200 of the state’s worker’s compensation/disability law, effective January 2018, employees will be eligible for paid time off to care for the birth or adoption of a child, serious health condition of a family member, or a qualified military exigency as interpreted under the Family and Medical Leave Act. Key provisions of the act include:

Despite promises that there would be no cost to employers, the budget allowed for the transfer of $10 million from money already paid by employers, specifically assessed for the purpose of running the Workers’ Comp Board, to the paid family leave program.