October 1, 2014
By Amanda LoMonaco
New York, NY — Mayor Bill de Blasio on September 30th signed an executive order enacting a sweeping expansion of New York City’s Fair Wages for New Yorkers Act. Commercial tenants at projects that receive more than $1 million in City subsidy will be covered by Living Wage provisions, and the Living Wage itself will be raised to from $11.90 to $13.13 per hour—likely reaching $15.22 per hour by 2019.
“We are raising the floor for working families struggling to get by. With this order, thousands of breadwinners working at projects that will be supported by taxpayers will earn higher wages and be more likely to receive the kind of benefits critical to supporting a family. And this is just one of many steps we’re taking on this front. From today’s executive order to the expansion of paid sick leave to our overhaul of workforce development, we are working to lift up working people and confront inequality,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.
Increasing and expanding the Living Wage law is part of a comprehensive approach in New York City to tackle income inequality, Paid sick leave provisions have also been expanded. The new living wage matches the contours of a higher local minimum wage that a broad coalition is working to secure from Albany next year.
The City estimates the executive order will expand the reach of living wage provisions to 70 percent of all jobs at firms supported by City agencies. Approximately 4,100 jobs covered under the new standards would be held by employees in retail and fast-food businesses that traditionally pay close to minimum wage. The Living Wage will be set at $13.13 without benefits, or $11.50 per hour with benefits, and will be adjusted each year to match changes in the Consumer Price Index. It previously stood at $10.30 with benefits and $11.90 without.
“I commend Mayor de Blasio on signing the Living Wage order, expanding the Fair Wages for New York Act to include jobs in projects that receive over $1 million in city subsidy. Today’s executive order will guarantee living wages to previously exempt workers, such as employees of commercial tenants. Additionally, it will raise the hourly wage for workers who are not eligible to receive employee benefits. These actions go far to move us towards a more economically equitable society, and I look forward to working with the administration to achieve living wage throughout New York City,” said Public Advocate Letitia James.