New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants to raise the minimum wage to $15 for fast food employees–but restaurant owners aren’t pleased.
Because the $15 wouldn’t apply to other low-paying jobs–like retail–fast food franchise owners are considering a lawsuit, arguing that they’re being unfairly targeted. New York, like many states, does not have specific minimum wage laws for specific industries–but that would change if the wage hike goes into effect.
Jack Bert, a McDonald’s franchise owner who owns seven restaurants in Queens, voiced his anger over the governor’s plan to hike up the minimum wage.
“Singling out fast food restaurants while ignoring other industries that hire workers who are paid under $15 is unfair and discriminatory, harms New York workers, and puts some New York businesses – including mine and my fellow New York McDonald’s franchisees – at a competitive disadvantage,” Bert said.
If Cuomo’s plan goes into effect, fast food workers will see their pay almost double–from the current minimum wage of $8.75 an hour to $15 an hour. But that money has to come from somewhere–and it’ll directly hurt the bottom line of franchise owners, who are generally small business owners, rather than the large corporations that own the brand itself.
But this law would only target fast food companies with more than 30 locations in New York. An attempt to raise the minimum wage for all workers sank in the state Legislature.
Currently, the wage hike is sitting with an unelected Wage Board. Cuomo has no plan to let the Legislature or the state’s Senate–which is dominated by Republicans–discuss or vote on the hike.