The National Restaurant Association has asked the New York State Supreme Court-Appellate Division to block the state’s executive branch from raising the hourly minimum wage for fast-food workers to $15 an hour.
A legal brief filed by the association alleges that the directive from State Labor Commissioner Mario Musolino to raise the pay scale, and just for the employees of chain quick-service restaurants, is illegal.
Commissioner Musolino ordered that the targeted increase take effect after an ad hoc Wage Panel investigated the wages of working conditions of QSR workers throughout the state and decided that they were justified in wanting a higher wage.
Musolino’s directive requires that the wage solely for QSR employees rise in steps to $15 by 2018 and by 2021 everwhere else in the state. That level would give New York, the nation’s fourth largest restaurant market, the highest state minimum in the country.
The minimum wage is currently $8.75, and rises to $9.50 on January 1.
The order came down, with the support and encouragement of Governor Andrew Cuomo, after the state legislature refused to raise the wage to $11.50.
The NRA has tried various ways to derail the measure. Most recently, an appeal to the Industrial Board of Appeals was rejected on all counts.