New York Employment Law Blog

Friday, April 8, 2016


On April 4, 2016, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation that will gradually increase the minimum wage in New York (for most workers) to $15.00 per hour and will also provide employees with 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave. 

Minimum Wage Increases

The minimum wage increases will begin throughout the State on December 31, 2016, but by how much will depend on where the employee works.  Below is a table that summarizes the increases, showing the hourly minimum wage that will be in effect for the year depending on the location of the employer:


New York City (11 or more employees)

New York City (10 or fewer employees)

Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester Counties

Rest of State

























In 2019, the State will conduct an annual analysis of the economy in each region and the effect of the minimum wage increases statewide to determine whether a temporary suspension of the scheduled increases is necessary.

Paid Family and Medical Leave

The State is also paving the way with the most comprehensive paid family leave program in the United States.  Starting in 2018, employees will be entitled to up to 8 weeks of paid leave, which will increase to 10 weeks per year in 2019 and 2020, and when the law becomes fully effective in 2021, employees will be entitled to up to 12 weeks of paid leave.  The amount of money employees will receive will increase over the first four years, with a cap at the statewide average weekly wage.  In 2018, the payment will be at 50% of the employee’s average weekly wages, which will increase to 67% of the employee’s average weekly wages by 2021 (again, with caps at the statewide average weekly wage).

This leave will be available to employees to: (1) bond with a new child; (2) care for a family member (child, parents, parent-in-law, spouse, domestic partners, grandchild or grandparent); or (3) address “any qualifying exigency” resulting from a family member being called into active military service.

The paid leave program will be funded through a nominal payroll deduction (0.5%) on employees and employees are eligible to participate after having worked for their employer for six months.

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