We challenged a decision by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s hand-picked Fast Food Wage Board in the summer of 2015 to set a $15 wage mandate for a segment of the QSR industry. We filed an administrative appeal with the Industrial Labor Board and then a lawsuit against the New York Labor Commissioner challenging the disparity of the wage rate for certain fast-food employees versus the wage rate for all other employees. The Court ruled against us on February 7, 2017, but we continued to press New York’s Labor Commissioner and its Attorney General to withdraw the Fast Food Wage Order.
Ultimately, under legal pressure from the Association, Cuomo signed into law a budget bill that expanded the wage hike to include all workers across industries. While the wage hike is still damaging to restaurants’ ability to thrive in New York, we were able to get closer to a level playing field with other businesses in New York. The new law also prohibits new industry-specific wage boards able to mandate wage increases for the foreseeable future.