Labor Dept. announces next steps in $15 minimum hourly wage phase-in

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. – On Saturday the New York State Department of Labor announced the next steps in the state’s $15 minimum hourly wage phase-in. Commissioner Roberta Reardon issued an Order calling for the minimum wage rate in counties outside of New York City, Long Island and Westchester to rise by $1 per hour, from $13.20 to $14.20.

The Division’s analysis found evidence of pressure for wages to rise in the midst of a continued pandemic-driven labor shortage. Currently, the minimum wage rate in New York City, Long Island, and Westchester County is $15 per hour, having reached that level following phased-in annual increases.

The Commissioner’s Order will be enacted through rulemaking and is subject to public comment before a final decision is made. NYSDOL announced the start of the public comment period for New Yorkers to weigh in on the recommendation and invited New Yorkers to share feedback by e-mailing by December 11, 2022. If accepted, the wage increase would take effect on December 31, 2022.

“By raising the minimum wage incrementally, New York State is helping businesses adjust to the new rate, while giving low-wage workers the ability to better participate in our economy,” said New York State Department of Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon. “Continuing with the multi-year plan to raise the minimum wage is in line with market standards and ensures that no worker is left behind.”

An average of 200,000 New Yorkers in these upstate counties will benefit from this wage increase, 44% of which are full time workers and of those, nearly 25% are supporting children below age 18. In addition, this increase will help to close the gender pay gap, providing an estimated 110,000 women with greater financial stability.

New York’s minimum wage statute requires that DOB review the state’s economy annually to determine whether wage increases should move forward as scheduled. For the minimum wage that will be applicable in 2023, the statute also requires that DOB, in coordination with NYSDOL, evaluate various economic factors, such as consumer prices, and determine the rate of minimum wage increases outside of New York City, Long Island, and Westchester.