As we covered in a recent blog post on the living wage requirements for city contractors, on September 30, 2014, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio signed an executive order that: (1) raises New York City’s “living wage” (i.e., minimum wage) for commercial entities—including tenants, subtenants, and contractors—that receive at least $1 million in government subsidies; and (2) increases the total number of employers covered by New York City’s Fair Wages for New Yorkers Act.

The Fair Wages for New Yorkers Act, which the New York City Council passed in 2012, instituted a living wage requirement for economic development projects that received $1 million or more in financial assistance from the city. Under the new executive order, covered entities are required to pay an increased living wage of $13.13 per hour (up from $11.90) to employees who do not receive health benefits. Employers that provide health benefits are now required to pay employees $11.50 per hour (up from $10.30). However, the executive order does not apply to manufacturers, businesses with gross income below $3 million, and housing projects with more than 75 percent affordable units. Mayor de Blasio’s administration nonetheless estimates that, over the next five years, an additional 18,000 workers will be affected by the executive order.  

The executive order took effect immediately. Mayor de Blasio has indicated that additional amendments to New York City wage laws are forthcoming, and we will continue to monitor any new laws that will affect New York City employers.