Photo Courtesy of the Office of the Governor
Governor Cuomo announced on Sunday that the minimum wage increase, paid family leave policy, and middle class tax cut have all gone into effect.
Cuomo Announces Launch of Economic Justice Programs for Middle Class
By Forum Staff
Governor Andrew Cuomo last weekend announced the launch of a package of economic justice programs for the middle class: a second minimum wage increase, paid family leave policy, and a middle-class tax cut.
“New York has made major strides in the fight for economic equality, social justice and workers’ rights and with the rollout of this historic minimum wage increase and the strongest paid family leave program in the country, we continue to protect the wallets of middle class New Yorkers,” Cuomo said. “New York believes in a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work and no family member should have to choose between caring for a loved one or losing their job – this victory will help restore fairness and equality to working families across New York.”
The administration noted that minimum wage increases are calculated based on where an individual works, by industry, and, in some cases, the size of the business. It is estimated that more than 2.3 million people will be positively impacted by the increase in the minimum wage statewide.
As of Sunday, Dec. 31, 2017, the minimum wage rates in NYC will increase to: $13/hour for large employers (11 employees or more); $12/hour for small employers (10 or less); and $13.50/hour for fast-food workers.
According to the administration, beginning Monday, Jan. 1, the State began “the strongest, most progressive and most comprehensive paid family leave policy in the nation.” When fully phased in, New Yorkers will be eligible for up to 12 weeks of paid time off, the State said.
Those eligible for paid family leave include:
• Parents during the first 12 months following birth, adoption, or foster placement of a child;
• Caretakers for a sick spouse, domestic partner, child, stepchild, parent, stepparent, parent-in-law, grandparent or grandchild;
• Employees with a spouse, child, domestic partner or parent who has been notified of an order of active military service abroad.
Full-time employees with a regular schedule of 20 or more hours per week will be eligible for paid family leave after 26 consecutive weeks of employment. Part-time employees with a regular schedule of less than 20 hours per week can apply for Paid Family Leave after working 175 days for their employer.
Cuomo also said that the new lower state tax rates will save middle-class taxpayers nearly $6.6 billion in the first four years, and annual savings are projected to reach $4.2 billion and benefit six million filers by 2025. As the new rates phase in, they will be the State’s lowest middle-class tax rates in more than 70 years. In the five boroughs, taxpayers will see an average State tax cut of $235 in 2018 and an average State tax cut of $653 when fully phased in by 2025.
“These efforts are bringing real change for citizens across the state as we begin to implement New York’s paid family leave program and continue to raise wages for every minimum wage worker in the state,” added Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie. “No one should ever have to choose between financial security and bonding with a new child or caring for a sick family member. We also believe that no one who works full-time should struggle to make ends meet. These changes will help ensure that every New Yorker can put their own family first.”