senate Bill S5999

2013-2014 Legislative Session

Enacts the New York state fair wage act

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Archive: Last Bill Status - In Committee


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor

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Actions

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Assembly Actions - Lowercase
Senate Actions - UPPERCASE
Jan 08, 2014 referred to rules
Nov 27, 2013 referred to rules

S5999 - Bill Details

Current Committee:
Law Section:
General Business

S5999 - Bill Texts

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Enacts the New York state fair wage act.

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BILL NUMBER:S5999

TITLE OF BILL: An act in relation to enacting the New York fair wage
act

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF THE BILL:

This :bill would require chain--stores in New York-State-to pay wages
no lower than a defined living wage - $15 without benefits - indexed
to the consumer price index -(CPI) annually.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:

Section one states the title of the bill as the "New York fair wage
act".

Section two provides definitions for "business", "formula retail
store", "subcontractors", "employee", "living wage rates" and
"benefits".

Section three requires formula retail stores shall provide employees
an hourly compensation package with a value of no less than the living
wage rate per hour. There provisions of this section may be waived by
the written terms of a bona fide collective bargaining agreement.

Section four requires the state publish and make available to large
retailers a bulletin announcing the adjusted living wage and benefits
for the upcoming year. In addition the state must provide formula
retail stores a notice in English and in Spanish to be displayed in
the workplace informing employees of the current living wage and
benefits rate and their rights under this act. Formula retail stores
are also required to retain payroll and benefit records pertaining to
employees for a period of four years and shall allow the agency access
to such records to monitor compliance.

Section Five states that this act shall take effect immediately.

JUSTIFICATION:

In the wake of the passage of the NY State Budget 2013-14 which
included an incremental increase in the minimum wage to $9 by 2015 -
this legislation would require formula retail stores, commonly
referred to as 'chain' stores, to pay their employees a real living
wage now.

For the purposes of this legislation, chain stores are defined as
"formula retail stores" the definition of which is a "retail sales
establishment which, along with eleven or more other retail sales
establishments located in the United States, maintains two or more of
the following features: a standardized array of merchandise, a
standardized facade, a standardized decor and color scheme, a uniform
-apparel, standardized signage, a trademark or a servicemark." As such
this would include over 120 large scale retailers including; Dunkin
Donuts, Target, Subway, Starbucks, Metro PCS, Duane Reade, McDonalds,
T-Mobile, GNC, Best Buy and Home Depot (Source: Center for an Urban
Future - State of the Chains 2012).


The living wage rate is defined as $15 and is set to increase in
proportion to the CPI. In addition, the prorated hourly cost of any
benefits that a chain store chooses to provide an employee can be
credited toward payment of the living wage. However, the requirement
to pay a living wage can be waived by the written terms of a bona fide
collective bargaining agreement.

Living wage laws are gaining significant momentum across the country
with dozens of cities and municipalities implementing living wage laws
this bill would ensure New Yorkers are not left behind.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

New Bill

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:

Minimal fiscal impact.

EFFECTIVE DATE:

This act shall take effect immediately.

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                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                  5999

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                            November 27, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced  by Sen. SQUADRON -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee on Rules

AN ACT in relation to enacting the New York fair wage act

  THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND  ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section  1.  This act shall be known and may be cited as the "New York
fair wage act".
  S 2. For the purposes of this act, the term:
  A. "Business" means  any  natural  person,  corporation,  partnership,
limited  liability  company, joint venture, sole proprietorship, associ-
ation, trust or any other entity.
  B. "Formula retail store" means a retail  sales  establishment  which,
along  with  eleven or more other retail sales establishments located in
the United States, maintains two or more of the following features:  (1)
a  standardized array of merchandise, a standardized facade, a standard-
ized decor and color scheme, a uniform apparel, standardized signage,  a
trademark; or (2) a servicemark.
  C.  "Subcontractor" means any business that performs services, includ-
ing but not limited to janitorial or security services, on the  premises
of a formula retail store, that holds a sublease or contract authorizing
that party to occupy, use, control or do business on the premises of the
large  retailer, or that performs construction work on premises that are
or will be occupied by a large retailer.
  D. "Employee" includes not only  common-law  employees  of  a  formula
retail  store  who  are regularly employed on or about the premises of a
formula retail store, but also persons who regularly work  on  or  about
the  premises  of a formula retail store for the benefit of that retail-
er's business, whether they are engaged as a contractor,  subcontractor,
tenant,  subtenant,  licensee or sublicensee, or as an employee thereof.
Workers who are not common-law employees of a formula retail store shall
not be deemed "regularly working" on or about  the  retailer's  premises

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD10029-04-3

S. 5999                             2

unless  they  spend  an  average of ten or more hours per week there for
four or more weeks. "Employee" does not include any managerial or admin-
istrative employees receiving more than $50,000 per year in wages, sala-
ry, bonus, commission or other compensation from a large retailer.
  E. "Living wage rates" means:
  (1)  Beginning on the effective date of this act, the living wage rate
shall be an hourly rate of $15.
  (2) No later than January 1 of each successive year, the  living  wage
rate shall be increased in proportion to the increase during the preced-
ing  twelve  months,  if  any, in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban
Consumers in the  New  York  state  metropolitan  statistical  area,  as
published  by  the  U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics of the United States
Department of Labor.
  (3) The prorated hourly cost of any benefits  that  a  formula  retail
store  chooses  to provide an employee may be credited toward payment of
the minimum hourly compensation required under this act,  provided  that
this  provision  shall  not  be construed as amending or superseding any
other applicable state and federal wage laws.
  F. "Benefits" means payments made by a formula retail  store  for  any
bona fide fringe benefits, paid directly to an employee or a third party
on  behalf of an employee or employee's family, such as benefits related
to health care, retirement security, disability, training and education,
or paid leave, but excluding any payments  that  are  deducted  from  an
employee's  wages  or  otherwise  reimbursed by an employee, or that are
required by any federal, state or local law. A formula retail store  may
use  any  reasonable methodology for determining the hourly dollar value
of any benefits provided and may, at its  election,  use  each  quarter,
month  or pay period as the relevant period for calculating the prorated
hourly value of any benefits provided.
  S 3. A. Formula  retail  stores  shall  provide  employees  an  hourly
compensation  package  with a value of no less than the living wage rate
for each hour that the employee works  on  the  premises  of  a  formula
retail store.
  B.  Formula  retail  stores shall be jointly and severally responsible
for any violation of this act by a subcontractor of the  formula  retail
store.
  C.  The  provisions of this section may be waived by the written terms
of a bona fide collective bargaining agreement.
  S 4. A. By December 1 of each year, the state shall publish  and  make
available  to  large retailers a bulletin announcing the adjusted living
wage and benefits rate for the upcoming year, which shall take effect on
January 1.
  B. By December 1 of each year, the state shall publish and make avail-
able to formula retail stores, in English and Spanish,  and  on-line,  a
notice  suitable  for  posting  by formula retail store in the workplace
informing employees of the current living wage and benefits rate and  of
their rights under this act.
  C. Every formula retail store shall post in a conspicuous place at any
workplace  or job site where an employee works the notice published each
year by the agency informing employees of the current  living  wage  and
health  care  supplement  rate and of their rights under this act. Every
formula retail store shall post such notices in English and Spanish.
  D. Formula retail stores shall retain  payroll  and  benefits  records
pertaining  to employees for a period of four years, and shall allow the
agency access to such records to monitor compliance  with  the  require-
ments  of this act. Formula retail stores shall permit an employee or an

S. 5999                             3

employee's designated  representative  to  inspect  the  formula  retail
store's payroll and benefits pertaining to the employee. Where a formula
retail  store  does  not maintain or retain adequate records documenting
wages  paid  or  does  not  allow  the  state  reasonable access to such
records, there shall be a rebuttable presumption that the formula retail
store has not paid the living wage. This presumption may be overcome  if
the  large  retailer  proves  by  clear and convincing evidence that the
formula retail store has paid the living wage.
  S 5. This act shall take effect immediately.

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