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NY Board Upholds $15 Minimum Wage For Fast-Food Workers

ALBANY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) -- A state oversight board has upheld New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's administration's decision to gradually raise the minimum wage to $15 for some fast-food workers.

The New York Industrial Board of Appeals on Wednesday rejected the National Restaurant Association's arguments that the wage order was unconstitutional, arbitrary, unsupported by the evidence and focused improperly on employers affiliated with fast-food chains with more than 30 locations.

Many fast-food workers told the board that the current $8.75 wage forces them into poverty.

Cuomo called the board's decision "a tremendous victory for working men and women across New York."

"No one who works hard should ever be condemned to a life of poverty and that's why we are continuing the fight today," Cuomo said in a statement. "We will not stop until we ensure a new standard of economic justice for all workers -- and when New York acts, the rest of the nation follows."

The minimum wage will rise to $9 at the end of this year for most workers under New York law. About 200,000 fast-food employees will see their minimums rise then to $10.50 an hour in New York City and $9.75 elsewhere. 

The minimum wage for fast-food workers in New York City will reach $15 in 2018, but in the rest of the state, it will take until 2021.

In September, Cuomo announced he wants to get the minimum wage raised to $15 per hour for every worker in the state. A poll released shortly after that announcement found that 59 percent of respondents support an across-the-board $15 minimum wage, while 38 percent oppose it.

(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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