The New Year will be happier this year for an estimated 1,673 workers in Tompkins County as a result of an increase in the NYS Minimum Wage from $6.00/hour to $6.75/hour effective January 1.
“The increase will inject close to $1 million into the local economy during the year,” said TC Living Wage Coalition organizer Carl Feuer, “bringing benefits not only to these low-paid workers, but also to our community.”
A study by the Fiscal Policy Institute (www.fiscalpolicy.org) also found that employment for low-wage workers actually increased in New York during 2005 following the increase in the minimum wage to $6/hour on January 1, 2005. Opponents of the increase claimed that the reverse would occur.
All employees in the state, including domestic workers with certain specified exceptions, must now be paid the $6.75 minimum for all hours worked up to 40 hours in a week. Tipped employees like restaurant wait staff must be paid a minimum of $4.35/hour (assuming they earn at least $2.40/hour in tips). Beyond 40 hours all employees will still be entitled to overtime pay at time-and-a-half for each additional hour worked.
The wage increase results from legislation passed in 2004 establishing a three-year progressive increase in the State minimum wage. It rose to $6/hour on January 1, 2005 (from $5.15) and will rise again on January 1, 2007, to $7.15/hour.
The Minimum Wage Order which employers must post for employees to see is available to download and print at www.labor.state.ny.us/formsdocs/wp/ls207_rev_2006.pdf.