© 2023 WRVO Public Media
Your Source for NPR News
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Minimum wage increases across NY, dept. of labor launches compliance hotline

Gov. Andrew Cuomo signing an increase in the minimum wage and the creation of paid family leave.

Minimum wage workers across New York State are getting a raise. Gov. Andrew Cuomo said it shows government can make a difference in people's lives, but central New York businesses are mixed on its impact.

While the minimum wage for most New York City workers goes up to $15 an hour, upstate workers get a 70 cents increase, bringing them to $11.10 an hour. They will top off at $12.50 by the end of 2020. Upstate fast food workers get a dollar raise and tipped food service workers will remain the same for now. To raise awareness, the department of labor is releasing TV, digital and radio ads.

Credit NYS Dept. of Labor
NYS Dept. of Labor
A chart of the minimum wage phase-in.

“We are the first state to truly attack economic injustice by raising the wage to 15 dollars,” Cuomo said in one of the ads.

Speaking to WAMC last week, Cuomo said raising the minimum wage from $9 to $15 an hour, adds around $12,000 to a worker’s yearly income.

“That is a life changer," Cuomo said. "That means your children have more to eat. That means your children have better clothes.”  

Workers can also call a hotline (1-888-4-NYSDOL) to report employers who are not following the phase-in schedule.

"If your check does not go up, you should go to the department of labor website immediately," Cuomo said.

Representatives of economic development in central New York said some businesses have known and planned for the wage increases. With the economy doing well right now, they said it makes sense, while other businesses aren’t so sure. Unemployment is low and employers tend to raise wages in a tight labor market to attract talent, which is needed, with about 1,000 current job openings in the region.

Tom Magnarelli is a reporter covering the central New York and Syracuse area. He joined WRVO as a freelance reporter in 2012 while a student at Syracuse University and was hired full time in 2015. He has reported extensively on politics, education, arts and culture and other issues around central New York.