Last week, the National Restaurant Association filed objections to the recommendations by the Fast Food Wage Board to raise the minimum wage of their workers to $15 an hour. A lawyer for the group argues that wage increase is unfair in that it would apply only to national chain restaurants – not all fast food restaurants — and infringes on the authority of the State Legislature to set the state’s minimum wage. The group also notes that the Fast Food Wage Board included no representative of the fast-food industry.
The state’s Business Council also objected to Fast Food Wage Board’s proposal. The group expressed concerns about the process the state used to empanel the Fast Food Wage Board, as well as of the likely impact on employers and jobs should it go through.
If approved by the state Labor Commissioner, the mandated fast food wage increase will impact some 200,000 employees throughout the state. It would apply to fast-food workers in restaurants with 30 or more locations. It would be phased in over three years in New York City and six years elsewhere in the state.
We’ve made our opposition to the Fast Food Wage Board’s recommendations clear in our own comments to the Labor Commissioner, because we think it would be bad for the Upstate economy.
State Senator Jack Martins (R-Nassau County), who chairs the Senate Labor Committee, said this week that he plans to hold hearings on the Fast Food Wage Board. It’s a good first step toward making sure that this process is not used again to do an end-run around the Legislature.