A New York State board upheld the Cuomo administration's efforts to raise the minimum wage for some fast-food workers to $15 an hour over the next three years.
The New York Industrial Board of Appeals decided on Wednesday that the state's plan to hike pay for about 200,000 fast-food employees to $10.50 an hour in New York City will still go into effect on Dec. 31.
The pay raise affects chain restaurants with at least 30 locations nationwide.
Contested by the National Restaurant Association, the group argued the governor's order was unconstitutional.
But the board unanimously decided the argument was "without merit."
Gov. Andrew Cuomo praised the decision as one that makes a fundamental difference for low-income workers and families.
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"No one who works hard should ever be condemned to a life of poverty," Cuomo said in a statement, "and that's why we are continuing the fight today. We will not stop until we ensure a new standard of economic justice for all workers – and when New York acts, the rest of the nation follows.”
The National Restaurant Association vowed to continue its work against the reform, accusing the governor of using a "self-appointed wage board" to enact a mandate.
"The board's decision today says loud and clear New York is not open for business," the association said in a statement. "We are committed to helping the restaurant community continue to grow and create jobs across the state and plan to take legal action against this arbitrary mandate which is contrary to law."
The minimum wage for all New Yorkers will also increase to $9 an hour by 2016, and will catch up to $15 by 2021.