State-appointed panel says fast-food restaurants should raise minimum wage to $15 A state-appointed minimum wage panel recently came to the conclusion that the minimum wage for fast-food workers in New York should be raised to $15 an hour. The three members of the panel agreed that restaurants that are part of national chains should be required to pay workers more than the current minimum wage of $8.75 an hour. They also said that restaurant workers should be given more regular hours so that they could better plan their lives outside of work. The minimum wage in NYC has been a long-running problem for fast food workers Low wages have been a pressing issue for New York City fast food workers for years. In November 2012, 200 fast food workers went on strike, hoping to push restaurant chains to raise their wages. One protestor who had worked at McDonald’s for two and a half years said that he participated in the strike because living in the city on $8.75 an hour was like living in poverty. Despite the high number of participants, however, the strike failed to get the restaurant chains to budge. Although NYC’s minimum wage is scheduled to increase from $8.75 to $9.00 on December 31, 2015, many argue that the change will not be sufficient. They argue that the raise is insignificant in light of the fact that other major cities such as Los Angeles and Seattle have raised their minimum wage to $15 an hour. Will the panel’s recommendations have an effect on employment law? The panel has said that for now, it is not ready to make a full recommendation to the executive deputy commissioner of the State Labor Department. However, their statement indicates that they may make such a recommendation in the future. If they do, the result could be a change in New York’s employment law. Even though the panel’s statement has not produced any immediate results, it has increased the visibility of the minimum wage issue. As a result of the panel’s hearings, individuals such as Vermont governor Howard Dean have expressed their support for raising the wage to $15 an hour. “The truth is multibillion-dollar companies can afford to raise pay – and it’s about time they did,” Dean said in a testimony to the panel. Support from politicians may facilitate the process of increasing the minimum wage. All employees must be paid a minimum wage of $8.75 per hour (inclusive of tip credit) Unfortunately, some employees in NYC are not even being paid the minimum wage. Nobody should have to work without receiving adequate compensation. If you are being paid below the minimum wage at your job, contact the Akin Law Group as soon as possible. Our experienced employment lawyers can advise you on how to best proceed to recover your losses. If you are not being paid at least $8.75 an hour for regular pay and $13,125 in over-time pay, contact the Akin Law Group as soon as possible to learn your rights.