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April 13, 2016

New York's New Minimum Wage Law

Employers in New York State will see minimum wage increases implemented on a regional basis at the end of 2016. Currently, the minimum wage in New York is $9.00 per hour.

Under the new law, New York City employers with at least 11 employees will see the minimum wage increase to $11.00 at the end of 2016. Then, $2.00 increases will go into effect in each of the next two years, with the minimum wage in New York City reaching $15.00 at the end of 2018. New York City employers with fewer than 11 employees will see the minimum wage go to $10.50 at the end of 2016 and rise another $1.50 each year for three years, reaching $15.00 at the end of 2019.

Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester counties will see the minimum wage rise to $10.00 at the end of 2016. It will then go up $1.00 per year, reaching $15.00 at the end of 2021.

The balance of New York State will see the minimum wage rise to $9.70 at the end of 2016 and increase 70 cents per year until it reaches $12.50 at the end of 2020. The minimum wage will continue to increase to $15.00, on an indexed schedule.

The chart below sets out new minimum wage increases in New York:

   12/31/16 12/31/17  12/31/18  12/31/19  12/31/20  12/31/21 
New York City   $11 $13  $15  ---  --- --- 
 Suffolk, Westchester and Nassau  $10 $11  $12  $13 $14  $15 
 "Upstate" New York  $9.70 $10.40  $11.10  $11.80  $12.50  --- 


The new law contains a "safety valve" which will allow state officials beginning in 2019 to consider the effects of wage increases on regional economies before permitting scheduled increases to go into effect.

The minimum wage law also makes changes to the tipped employee minimum wage, so employers in the hospitality industry must also make sure they are in compliance with the new law, which will be treated separately in an upcoming Client Alert.

Employers who have bargaining relationships with their unions should examine their collective bargaining agreements to see how the laws may affect their contractual obligations.


If you have any questions about the content of this alert please contact the Barclay Damon attorney with whom you normally work or any attorney in our Labor & Employment Practice Area.

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