New York Governor Andrew Cuomo echoed President Obama this week by championing a raise for the lowest paid workers: “We would raise the minimum wage to $10.50 statewide and in New York City… to $11.50.” New York State’s minimum wage currently exceeds the Federal minimum wage at $8.75 per hour. In his annual State of the State address, Cuomo address growing wage disparities: “We believe if you work full time, you should be able to pay the rent and pay for food and not live in poverty.”
Gov. Cuomo was not alone in this week in addressing minimum wage concerns. President Obama made his third consecutive plea with Congress to adjust the minimum wage for all workers, and encouraged Congress to try to live on $15,000 per year. “If not, vote to give millions of the hardest-working people in America a raise,” he said. Obama has previously directed the Labor Department to revise overtime rules.
One of the largest groups of workers in the modern economy that do not receive proper minimum wage are interns — especially in media, fashion, and entertainment industries. For other employees and without realizing it, companies may pay employees less than minimum wage if asked to work during meal breaks, when they have to travel from job sites, and if they have their tips stolen while working in the restaurant or catering industry.