Last Wednesday, a panel convened by Gov. Cuomo approved a resolution recommending a phased-in minimum wage increase to $15 for workers in the fast food industry. If approved by the Labor Commissioner, the wage increase will be phased in, rising to $15 in New York City by the end of 2018, and in the rest of the state by 2021. A legal challenge to the impending wage hike is expected.

The Wage Board is expected to meet on Monday to approve its report, which will be published and then followed by a 15-day public comment period. After that, the state labor commissioner can decide to accept, reject or modify the board’s recommendations and file a wage order. The final decision, or order, is subject to additional regulations.

Unshackle Upstate strongly opposes this move. We need an economic environment that supports job creation – not new wage mandates that will give employers yet another reason to leave the state. And this is especially true Upstate, which has experienced a half century of job and population loss.

The Fast Food Wage Board’s final recommendations set an extremely dangerous precedent that should alarm every employer in New York State. Businesses that are already struggling under New York’s high taxes and burdensome mandates are looking at this misguided wage board approach and are worried that they will be its next target.

Watch Unshackle Upstate executive director Greg Biryla discuss the negative impact yet another Albany wage mandate could have on Upstate New York.

Any changes to the state’s minimum wage should be done through the legislative process, where our elected officials can hear and consider the views of taxpayers and employers, not just labor advocates.