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New York State minimum wage rises to $8.75 an hour

Demonstrators for minimum wage increases for fast-food workers

Demonstrators for minimum wage increases for fast-food workers at the state Capitol in Albany on June 17, 2014. Photo Credit: Albany Times Union / John Carl D'Annibale

New York State's minimum wage goes up to $8.75 an hour Wednesday, the second of three increases that began taking effect last year.

On Dec. 31 of last year, the minimum rose to $8 an hour, from $7.25. At the end of 2015, the final increase will lift New York's minimum wage to $9 an hour.

Workers' advocates have applauded the hikes, but stress that more are needed for low-wage workers to survive on Long Island.

"It's a precedent for workers' rights organizations to continue the fight in order to continue to see the minimum wage increase," said Anita Halasz, executive director of the grassroots organization Long Island Jobs with Justice.

But others argue the increases harm businesses, especially small establishments.

Robert Basso, president of Freeport-based Advantage Payroll Services, with 3,000 clients in the metro area, said the increases hurt his clients "because they are going to have to raise prices or fees to compensate for them."

After the latest increase, New York will still lag Connecticut, where the minimum wage will rise to $9.15 an hour on Jan. 1, from the current $8.70.

But New York will jump ahead of New Jersey, where the minimum will rise to $8.38 an hour on Jan. 1, from the current $8.25 an hour.

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