State Budget to Include Minimum Wage Increase – Update

As we reported several days ago, the final state budget agreement includes increases in the minimum wage over the next three years years after which the minimum wage will be indexed to inflation.

The minimum wage in New York City and other downstate areas would increase to $16 an hour on January 1, 2024, to $16.50 an hour in 2025, $17 an hour in 2026, with future increases linked to inflation.

In all other regions north of Westchester County, wages would increase to $15 an hour o0 January 1, 2024, to $15.50 an hour in 2025, $16 an hour in 2026, with future increases also tied to inflation.

The new law does provide several exceptions – economic circumstances the state might find itself in that would prevent a minimum wage increase from occurring. Those exceptions are if the rate of the index is negative, if the three-month moving average of the seasonally adjusted NYS unemployment rate for the period ending July 31st rises by 0.5% or more relative to its low during the previous 12 months, or if the seasonally adjusted total non-farm employment for New York state in July decreased from the seasonally adjusted total non-farm employment for New York state in January. These exceptions are limited to two consecutive years.

The budget makes no changes in the law for tipped foodservice workers. Under the Labor Law, these workers have a minimum cash wage equal to two-thirds of the minimum wage so the cash wage for tipped foodservice workers will increase proportionately as the minimum wage increases each year.