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Minimum wage goes up today

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 31 December 2016 at 9:02 am

The minimum wage goes up today, which will give a pay boost to about 2 million workers in the state.

In Orleans County and most of Upstate New York, the minimum wage goes from $9 to $9.70 an hour. It’s the start of a phase-in as the minimum goes to $12.50 per hour beginning Dec. 31, 2020.

(The minimum wage locally goes to $10.40 on Dec. 31, 2017, then $11.10 on Dec. 31, 2018, to $11.80 on Dec. 31, 2019 and then $12.50 on Dec. 31, 2020.)

In New York City and in Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester counties, the state is phasing in the minimum wage to $15.

“No one who works full-time should be condemned to a life of poverty and that’s why New York took action to raise the wage and provide the opportunity of a decent life to millions of hard working New Yorkers,” Governor Cuomo said. “As we reach this milestone for a more fair and a more just New York, we are reminding workers they are owed a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work and this administration will work to ensure they receive the wage increase to which they are entitled.”

The state is launching a new public awareness campaign to remind New Yorkers about the higher minimum wage. The ads will run in both English and Spanish and be featured on television stations across the state. Minimum wage workers who do not receive their raise by December 31, 2016 should call 1-888-4-NYSDOL to report their employers.

The Business Council of New York State said the higher minimum wage will be costly to businesses in a high-cost state.

“We are disappointed with the multi-billion dollar increase in the minimum wage. This increase – at $8000 per job upstate and $13,000 downstate when fully implemented – is still too much for many businesses,” Heather C. Briccetti, president and CEO of The Business Council, said on March 31 when higher minimum wage was approved as part of budget agreement. “The last thing employers need is higher state-imposed costs.”

For more on the minimum wage, click here.