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New York State Department of Labor

Governor Cuomo Announces Fast Food Wage Board Initial Meeting and Tentative Schedule of Public Hearings

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Albany, NY (May 14, 2015) -

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that Wage Board Chair Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown has set a tentative schedule for the Fast Food Wage Board. The Wage Board, which was impaneled by Acting State Labor Commissioner Mario J. Musolino at the direction of Governor Andrew Cuomo, will investigate and make recommendations on an increase in the minimum wage in the fast food industry. The Wage Board will hold four public hearings and additional administrative meetings – all open to the public – over the course of the next three months.

“The minimum wage is supposed to be a wage that allows people who work full time to earn a decent living and provide for their family – but for too many fast-food workers, that is simply not the case,” Governor Cuomo said. “We must raise the minimum wage to restore that promise of opportunity and help people across the state move beyond poverty. With this Wage Board, New York is stepping up for fast food workers, and we are going to challenge every state in the nation to follow our lead in doing what is right and what is fair.”

The Wage Board will hold four public hearings, where testimony will be taken, and additional administrative meetings. All meetings are open to the public and will be archived on the Department of Labor's website.

The Wage Board will hold its first administrative meeting on Wednesday, May 20, 2015, at 11 a.m. at 75 Varick Street, 7th floor, New York City and connected by videoconference to 290 Main Street, Buffalo, Regional Office Conference Room. The purpose of the meeting is for Wage Board members to hear the Commissioner’s Charge and to finalize a calendar of public hearings. The meeting is open to members of the public; however, no public testimony will be taken at this meeting.

The Wage Board will tentatively hold public hearings:

  • June 5, 2015 in Buffalo
  • Week of 6/8 in New York City
  • Week of 6/15 in Long Island
  • Week of 6/22 in Albany

Those planning to attend a public hearing will be requested to preregister once the dates and locations are finalized.

Under New York State law, a Wage Board can suggest changes to the minimum wage in a specific industry or job classification if it finds that wages are insufficient to provide for the life and health of workers within that industry or classification. Despite being a well-established and thriving multi-billion dollar industry, the fast food sector employs tens of thousands of minimum wage workers in New York State – the vast majority of which are women, primary breadwinners for their households, and recipients of welfare or other forms of public assistance. The Wage Board’s recommendations are expected by July, and the commissioner will then have 45 days from its receipt to issue an order.

More information about the Fast Food Wage Board, including meeting documents and videos of the meetings after they occur, is available at www.labor.ny.gov/fastfoodwageboard.

Testimony Deadline

All testimony must be received by the Wage Board by June 26, 2015. All testimony given, oral or written, will be considered by the Wage Board. Written testimony is highly encouraged.

Written testimony may be emailed to wageboard@labor.ny.gov or mailed to:

New York State Department of Labor
ATTN: Wage Board
Bldg 12, Room 586
Harriman State Office Campus
Albany, NY 12240

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