Minimum Wage Changes to New York’s Fast Food Industry

NYWages01.jpg

As we previously discussed in May and July of this year, wage and hour requirements for the fast food industry in New York State are changing starting in the new year. These changes, which go into effect on December 31, 2015, result from recommendations made by the Fast Food Wage Board, which Governor Andrew Cuomo instructed Acting State Labor Commissioner Mario J. Musolino to empanel in May of 2015. The Wage Board announced its recommendations in July, and Acting Commissioner Musolino accepted those recommendations in September of 2015.

The new requirements apply to any employee working for a covered “Fast Food Establishment” if the employee’s job duties included at least one of the following: customer service, cooking, food or drink preparation, delivery, security, stocking supplies or equipment, cleaning, or routine maintenance.

A covered “Fast Food Establishment” is any business that meets the following criteria:

NYWages02.jpg
  • Primarily serves food or drinks, including coffee shops, juice bars, donut shops, and ice cream parlors; and
  • Offers limited service, where customers order and pay before eating, including restaurants with tables but without full table service, and places that only provide take-out service; and
  • Is part of a chain of 30 or more locations, including individually-owned establishments associated with a brand that has 30 or more locations nationally.

The higher minimum wage rates for covered employees are as follows:

New York City:

  • $10.50 per hour beginning December 31, 2015;
  • $12.00 per hour beginning December 31, 2016;
  • $13.50 per hour beginning December 31, 2017; and
  • $15.00 per hour beginning December 31, 2018.

New York State (excluding New York City):

  • $9.75 per hour beginning December 31, 2015;
  • $10.75 per hour beginning December 31, 2016;
  • $11.75 per hour beginning December 31, 2017;
  • $12.75 per hour beginning December 31, 2018;
  • $13.75 per hour beginning December 31, 2019;
  • $14.50 per hour beginning December 31, 2020; and
  • $15.00 per hour beginning July 1, 2021.

The New York State Department of Labor has now published a revised Hospitality Industry Wage Order codifying the new requirements in addition to a page addressing a number of frequently asked questions (FAQs) to assist employers with implementing the new requirements.

There are several points to note from the new wage order and the FAQs, which employers should watch as they implement changes to their policies in an effort to remain in compliance with the law:

  • Tip credits are not available for fast food employees. However, we note that a fast food establishment is one where patrons order and pay before eating and which offers limited service. So, if employees were previously receiving a tip credit wage because they were waiting on and regularly receiving tips from customers, it is very possible, if not likely, that the employees will not be considered fast food employees under the new requirements.
  • Although fast food workers do not regularly earn tips and an employer cannot take a tip credit for them, fast food employees must be allowed to keep any tips that they do earn.
  • With the increase in the minimum wage for fast food employees, employers must be sure to pay the higher rate for spread-of-hours pay and call-in pay, should those apply.
  • A “fast food establishment” need only have 30 locations nationally–not 30 locations in New York State–to qualify for coverage.
  • The 30 establishments need not be commonly owned and operated to trigger coverage as a “fast food establishment.” The 30 establishments can be operated as a franchise if the franchisor and franchisee own or operate 30 establishments.
  • A “chain” is defined as a set of establishments that share a common brand or that are characterized by standardized options for decor, marketing, packaging, products, and services.

(via JDSupra)

NY Board Upholds $15 Minimum Wage for Fast-Food Workers

NYMinWage.jpg

 

A state oversight board on Wednesday upheld the decision by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's administration to gradually raise the hourly minimum wage for many fast-food workers to $15.

The New York Industrial Board of Appeals rejected the National Restaurant Association's arguments that that the wage order was unconstitutional, arbitrary, unsupported by the evidence and focused improperly on fast-food chains with more than 30 locations.

The industrial board, whose members are appointed by the governor, said it's authorized only to determine whether the administration's actions were lawful under New York's labor statutes. A wage board heard testimony earlier this year and recommended the wage increases, which were approved by the state labor commissioner in July.

"We find nothing in the statute to prohibit (the labor commissioner) from issuing a minimum wage order that classifies employees based on the number of locations their employers are affiliated with," the industrial board ruled. The commissioner has authority under the law to investigate the adequacy of wages in any occupation, which can be done "for a subset of a segment of an industry" and requires a record establishing "a factual basis for doing so."

The wage board and commissioner concluded current wages were insufficient to meet workers' cost of living. They also concluded that fast-food chains with 30 or more restaurants nationally are "better equipped to absorb a wage increase due to greater operational and financial resources and brand recognition."

The restaurant association said it is "extremely disappointed" with the ruling and will go to court. "We are committed to helping the restaurant community continue to grow and create jobs across the state and plan to take legal action against this arbitrary mandate which is contrary to law," spokeswoman Christin Fernandez said.

New York's minimum wage will rise to $9 an hour on Dec. 31 for most workers under state law.

About 200,000 fast-food chain employees will see their minimums rise then to $10.50 an hour in New York City and $9.75 elsewhere under the commissioner's order.

Their wages will rise after that in three annual increments to $15 by the end of 2018 in New York City and in six increments to $15 by July 1, 2021 across the rest of the state.

(via ABC News)

 

Harri's Kitchen Culture: The Little Beet

IMG_1004.jpg

[embed]https://vimeo.com/142189433[/embed] For the latest edition of Harri's Kitchen Culture we turn our attention to Chef Franklin Becker and his restaurant “The Little Beet”, to find out what makes it one of the best gluten-free restaurants to work for in the city. Opening its doors in January of 2014 “The Little Beet”  prides itself on preparing 100% gluten-free meals utilizing local, seasonal, and natural ingredients.

Chef Franklin Becker learned to use simple ingredients to create dishes that were both flavorful and healthy. More than a restaurant, The Little Beet embodies the lifestyle of healthy eating with the goal of spreading that lifestyle to others.

Treating its staff as more of a family or team than just employees is one of the many reasons why The Little Beet has such a great workplace dynamic. Food aside, its The Little Beet's loyal team that deserves the credit for its success and popularity. Employees are required to have a strong work ethic and a willingness to learn, with The Little Beet team training them on the ins and outs of the business.

With another location on Long Island and additional locations coming to Park Avenue, NY and Washington DC, it looks like The Little Beet is on a mission to deliver healthy and delicious food to the masses.

See The Little Beet’s page for additional information.

The Little Beet (Midtown) 135 West 50th Street between 6th and 7th Avenue New York, New York 10020 (212)-459-2238

 

Harri's Hospitality Career Fair Recap

Hospitality-Career-Fair1.jpg

 

Have you heard about TeamLive?

Harri has recently launched TeamLive, the first truly end-to-end workforce management software for the hospitality industry.

Let us know if you are interested in learning more about how TeamLive can dramatically improve profitability at your business.

Name *
Name