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Issue Brief: In NYS, Fast Food Wages will Surpass Home Health Care Wages on July 21, 2021

On July 1, 2021, the fast-food minimum wage will increase to $15 per hour statewide, catching up with New York City where this rate had been in place since December 31, 2018. For non-fast food industries, the current minimum wage outside New York City, and Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester counties is $12.50/hour.

After July 1, fast food workers upstate will earn $2.50 more per hour than the vast majority of home care workers, nearly all of whom make at or slightly above the minimum wage. Low wages have made it increasingly difficult for self-directing Medicaid consumers and home care agencies to hire workers to provide home and community-based services that empower people with disabilities and seniors to live independently rather than in an institution.

As fast-food wages have risen, home care wages have stagnated, leading to ‘worst in the nation’ crisis in recruitment and retention where tens of thousands of seniors and disabled are forced to go without services or become institutionalized…

View the brief in its entirety here.