The National Restaurant Association (the other, gun-free, NRA) — an industry lobbying group — filed a petition late last week challenging New York's minimum wage increase. According to the Gannett Albany Bureau, the NRA is asking New York's Industrial Board of Appeals to throw out an order from the state's Department of Labor that will gradually raise the hourly minimum wage for fast food workers to $15-an-hour by July 2021.
The state wide wage bump for fast food workers was made official in September. In May, Governor Andrew Cuomo circumvented lawmakers by convening a panel to look at minimum wages in the fast food industry. The panel then recommended that $15 per hour was an "adequate" wage for fast food workers, and the proposal for the increase was approved by Cuomo's labor commissioner. All chains that have 30 or more locations will have to increase the wage of fast food workers. The current minimum wage in New York is $8.75 per hour.
In the 26-page appeal, the NRA claims that the wage increase is just a "thinly veiled attempt by Governor Cuomo" to avoid the hassle of getting things approved by the state legislature and finding a different way to enact his own policies. The filing adds: "New York's robust separation-of-powers doctrine, however, does not allow for such blatant executive overreach." The NRA also argues that the board that made the $15 per hour recommendation did not include a "representative for the restaurant industry," and thus was not fair. Eater has reached out to the NRA for comment.
The members of the NRA aren't the only ones upset by Cuomo's move. Many franchise owners are considering filing a lawsuit that argues that "it is not fair or legal [for them] to be saddled with such a significant" increase in costs that will only be applied to the fast food industry, not to all industries that traditionally offer low wages. They franchise owners believe that the wage increase is "unfair and discriminatory." Take a look at the appeal, in full, below: