As part of New York’s 2016-2017 budget approval process, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed two pieces of legislation affecting employers: a minimum wage increase and paid family leave. Collectively, the dual-track legislation was packaged as Victory for New York Families. Similar to the Oregon minimum wage geographical tier, New York’s minimum wage rate depends on the geographic location of the workplace, the size of the employer’s workforce, and the calendar.
In NYC the minimum wage rose to $10.50 for businesses with fewer than 10 employees, and $11.00 for everyone else with the start of the new year. In Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester Counties it rose to $10.00 for all workforce sizes. And for the rest of the state it rose to $9.70 for all workforce sizes.
For paid family leave, workers will be eligible for 12 weeks of paid family leave in 2018. The time may be used for caring for family members during a serious health condition or to support the worker’s family when a member is called to active military service. Workers must be employed for six months before being eligible to participate.
As with the minimum wage increase, New York is staging benefit increases, beginning with 50 percent of an employee’s average weekly wage, capped to 50 percent of the statewide average weekly wage. The average weekly wage will increase to 67 percent by 2021, with a 67 percent cap. The good news for employers is that workers will pay for the program from a nominal payroll deduction from their checks to cover the entire payroll cost of the program. Except for the cost of scheduling replacement staff, of course.