Restaurant Law Blog

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Proposed Changes to Minimum Wage, Unemployment Insurance, and Worker's Compensation

On January 22, 2013, Governor Cuomo released his proposed 2013-14 state budget, which contained several items that could drastically affect the restaurant industry. These proposals include:

  • Increasing the minimum wage to $8.75/hour, effective July 1, 2013
  • Increasing the hourly wage paid to tipped foodservice workers to $6.03/hour, effective July 1, 2013

The New York State Restaurant Association (NYSRA) is predicting that the above changes would impact 705,000 workers, costing business owners $1.01 billion a year in total wages. In addition to raising the pay rate of all employees, new notices of their pay rates will need to be provided. The New York State Restaurant Association is currently scheduling meetings with the administration and legislative leaders to provide feedback regarding these issues. If you are concerned about the impact this change will have on your business, you can share your story by contacting the NYSRA or your state senator.

Governor Cuomo also addressed reducing costs for employers by making changes to the current Unemployment Insurance and Worker’s Compensation systems. Specifically, Governor Cuomo discussed the need to address the longstanding problem of employees who voluntarily leave, but are still able to collect unemployment benefits. The Governor also proposed creating a simpler Workers’ Compensation Board assessment process and reducing transaction costs that Worker’s Compensation payers are responsible for.

If you have questions about how the proposed changes will impact your restaurant, please contact our office for a free consultation.


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