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National Restaurant Association To Appeal NYS Fast Food Worker Minimum Wage Hike

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) -- An appeal is the next battle in a fight by the National Restaurant Association to halt the minimum wage increase for some fast food workers in New York state.

Under state law, 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.

The New York Industrial Board of Appeals this month 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.

But as WCBS 880's Stephanie Colombini reported, the restaurant group still questions the legality of the move.

"From the very beginning, restaurateurs were just not heard throughout this process," said Christin Fernandez of the National Restaurant Association.

Fernandez said the legality challenges the legality of the state labor commissioner's decision to bypass legislation and raise wages solely for fast food workers.

"Targeting a certain subset of a certain sector of an industry is frankly unheard of," Fernandez said.

Fernandez said raising the minimum wage to $15 would cripple small business restaurateurs. But supports of the increase said it is necessary to help workers provide for themselves and their families.

In September, Gov. Andrew 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.

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