New York City Rally To Raise The Minimum Wage. Herald Square, Manhattan, 24th October 2013 (The All-Nite Images / CC BY-SA 2.0)

On Thursday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his administration approved legislation that will gradually raise the minimum wage for fast-food workers to $15 an hour. First announced in July, the decision follows similar increases in minimum wages in other cities, including Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

NBC reports:

The wage hike for fast-food workers in New York will be phased in over three years in New York city and over six years elsewhere in the state. It will apply to some 200,000 employees at large chain restaurants.

So far, the cities of Los Angeles, Seattle, and San Francisco, and the California cities of Oakland and Berkeley have approved phased-in increases that eventually will take their minimum wage to $15 an hour, or about $31,200 a year.

New York’s increase was recommended by an unelected Wage Board created by Cuomo — a tactic that allowed the governor to circumvent the Legislature, where proposed minimum wage increases have recently stalled in the Republican-controlled state Senate.

Fast-food workers say the current $8.75 wage forces many into poverty and isn’t sufficient to cover rent, medical care and rising costs of living.

A group of restaurant owners is considering a legal challenge to the increase. Republican lawmakers unhappy with how the increase was decided held a hearing on the process Thursday.

Read more here.

— Posted by Donald Kaufman.

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