Ever since December 31, 2016, New York's minimum wage has been increasing incrementally every year.  The state has been a leader in trying to ensure that even the minimum wage is a livable wage. While I am not saying that it is, New York has taken steps to try to get there, unlike some other states,

Five states have not adopted a state minimum wage: Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina and Tennessee. Two states, Georgia and Wyoming, have a minimum wage below $7.25 per hour. In all seven of these states, the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour applies.

It's hard to imagine supporting a family, nevertheless oneself on $7.25 per hour, especially with inflation steadily increasing.

Beginning on December 31, 2021, the minimum wage in New York City, Long Island, and Westchester will increase to $15 per hour.  Around the rest of the state, it will increase to $13.20 per hour.  Since 2016, that's an increase of $4 in NYC, $5 in Long Island and Westchester, and $3.50 around the rest of the state.  Honestly, I think the wage should be higher still, but there are lots of people and companies who continue to lobby to keep it low.

The statewide $15 minimum wage was enacted as part of the 2016-17 State Budget. The plan takes the needs of workers and businesses alike into account.

There are consequences for businesses that don't comply with New York's minimum wage law.  They may be forced to pay the employee interest, as well as penalties,

  • Minimum wage underpayments and liquidated damages, PLUS

  • Interest and civil penalties up to 200% of the unpaid wages

If you are an employee whose employer is not abiding by the law, you can contact 1-888-4NYSDOL (1-888-469-7365) or download a complaint form here.

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