Hello, fellow Upstaters! You probably know by now that New York State private sector minimum wages are going up on December 31, 2021. This is pursuant to amendments to New York State minimum wage orders, which since 2016 have set a goal that the rate, eventually, will reach $15.00/hour for private sector workers statewide. As of December 31, 2021, minimum wage for private sector, non-hospitality or building trade employees in Upstate New York will increase to $13.20/hour.
But be careful before you take this opportunity to go on a shopping spree. First, you might not be in a sector governed by the minimum wage orders (sorry, public employees). Second, if you’re in New York City, the rules are different for you. Third, hello food service workers! You have to deal with stuff like tip credits, tip pooling, and other complications (hint: your wages are still far below everyone else’s because, allegedly, tips are supposed to make up the rest.)
Luckily, the New York State Department of Labor has created a wage calculator that will help you figure out whether, and how much, you benefit from this new increase. (Go try it out, it’s fun!) Additionally, there’s a handy flyer that can give you some background information on where the strive for $15 has taken us so far.
As always, if you have questions about your wages, contact a workers’ rights attorney today!