Governor Cuomo is creating a 200-person task force to “ensure that workers are being paid what they earned, and employers who flaunt the law will be held accountable” according to a January 2nd press release. These investigators are going to go across the state to educate businesses and workers alike about the new wage levels and to enforce compliance. It is most likely (but far from certain) that the State will go through a thorough education initiative regarding the wage increase before penalties for non-compliance begin. Employers should be aware that the state set up a minimum wage hotline for employees to call into if they have not received the proper pay rate.
The minimum wage in New York City is now $10.50 an hour for businesses with 10 or fewer employees and $11.00 an hour for businesses with 11 or more employees. In Westchester and Long Island the minimum wage is $10.00 an hour. The minimum wage will go to $15.00 an hour by 2021.
Income inequality is a hot button issue and the Governor can be expected to take a leadership role in this area. Also, the labor force is competitive in the Metropolitan region. Employers should factor in these points when making hiring and payroll decisions.