New York Minimum Wage History and Information

Filled out Time Sheet
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On December 31, 2017, the minimum wage in New York state increased to $10.40 per hour, which was higher than the federal minimum wage at the time at $7.25 per hour. This was an increase from the New York State minimum wage of $9 per hour in 2016.

There are different minimum wage rates for the fast food industry, Long Island, Westchester County, and large and small employers in New York City.  

In New York City, the minimum wage is $12.00 per hour for businesses with 10 or fewer employees and $13.00 per hour for businesses with more than 11 employees.

In Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester counties, the minimum wage is $11.00 per hour. 

The current minimum wage and upcoming increases are different for each category of employee.

New York State Minimum Wage for Fast Food Worker

The following minimum wage rates for fast food workers who work for a chain with 30 more establishments was approved by a state wage panel.

Fast Food Minimum Wage Increases for New York State, Excluding New York City

  • $11.75 on December 31, 2017
  • $12.75 on December 31, 2018
  • $13.75 on December 31, 2019
  • $14.50 on December 31, 2020
  • $15.00 on July 1, 2021

Fast Food Wage Minimum Wage Increases for New York City

  • $13.50 December 31, 2017
  • $15.00 on December 31, 2018

Increasing the minimum wage to $15.00 per hour for all workers across New York state was a big priority for Governor Andrew Cuomo's Build to Lead Agenda. While many New York state workers are not currently scheduled to reach that $15.00 per hour goal, those in New York City, Long Island, and Westchester will enjoy a $15.00 per hour minimum wage by the end of 2021.

New York Minimum Wage for Tipped Workers

Workers who receive tips are paid under a different minimum wage structure in New York. The cash wage, or base service rate, varies based on the size of the employer and the location. The minimum wage rate for tipped workers in NYC changed in 2018.

If tips aren't sufficient to reach minimum wage, the employer is required to pay the minimum wage for tipped employees, which is not currently scheduled to increase, but will be addressed in the future.

History of Minimum Wage

A general minimum wage was established on October 1, 1960, prior to which minimum wage rates depended on the industry. The first New York state minimum wage was $1.00 per hour. Since it was established in October 1960, New York state minimum wage has increased in spurts, with the first rapid increase occurring over a period of several years in the mid-to-late 1970s.

This was over two decades later than when the national minimum wage was established in 1938.

More or Less Than Federal Minimum Wage

New York is one of many states whose minimum wage tends to be higher than the federal minimum wage, for both tipped and untipped workers. A few states match federal minimum wage and even fewer mandate a minimum wage which is less than the federal minimum wage. In the case when a states minimum wage law mandates a pay rate which is less than the federal minimum wage law, the federal minimum wage law supersedes the state minimum wage law. When a state, like New York, has a higher minimum wage than the federal minimum wage, the state minimum wage is the one employers must pay.