While it’s no surprise that minimum wage increased at the end of 2015, employers are well advised to periodically review their lower-wage earners in order to stay abreast of the annual increases slated for the next several years.

The Minimum Wage Act requires that all New York employees, including domestic workers, receive at least $9.00 per hour. There are special wages for certain industries contained in the State’s Wage Orders which are publicly available from the Department of Labor.

In general, for locales other than New York City, Westchester County, and Long Island, the required minimum wage will again increase on December 31, 2016, this time to $9.70 per hour. And then for the next few years, minimum wage increases in the greater New York State area will continue:

12/31/17 … $10.40
12/31/18 … $11.10
12/31/19 … $11.80
12/31/20 … $12.50

Starting in 2021, the State Labor Department will publish the annual minimum wage increase by October 1st, and it will increase each year until it reaches at least $15 per hour.

There are even higher rates in the downstate region, and employers with offices throughout the State will should heed these different rules. All New York employers must stay abreast of and budget for these changes.