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Fast Food Workers in N.Y. Should Earn $15 an Hour, Panel Says

Fast-food workers in New York could end up making $15 an hour under a plan endorsed Wednesday by a state labor board.
Some socially-conscious companies are using the minimum wage debate to burnish their values and business practices.
Fast-food workers hold placards in support to an increase of the minimum wage in New York City in May.EMMANUEL DUNAND / AFP - Getty Images

Fast-food workers in New York state could end up making $15 an hour, but it might take a few years.

A proposal to set a $15 minimum wage for workers at fast-food restaurants with 30 or more locations was endorsed Wednesday by a state labor board.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, whose administration must approve the idea, has signaled his support.

Fast-food workers hold placards in support to an increase of the minimum wage in New York City in May.EMMANUEL DUNAND / AFP - Getty Images

The wage hike would be phased in over three years in New York City and over six elsewhere in the state.

Many workers say the increase would allow them to cope with high costs of living, though restaurant owners say it will lead to higher prices and fewer jobs.

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Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles have approved phased-in $15 minimum wages. New York would be the first state to take such a step for a specific industry.