January brought a pay raise for Western New York workers making the minimum wage. The Upstate minimum wage starts at $12.50 an hour, and gradually rises until it gets to 15 dollars an hour according to WIVB-TV.

Another benefit for private-sector workers is paid sick leave, which New Yorkers actually started accruing last September.

“Companies with 4 or more employees who make at least one million dollars a year, or any other company with at least 5 to 100 employees has to provide 40 hours of paid sick leave, said Joe Saeli, of Colligan Law.

The new benefits for private employers in Western New York is another hurdle for employers to overcome during a pandemic year...especially tough for the hospitality and food industry.

” Lack of business and increasing costs all around has been devastating for us, and the timing of this next increase in the minimum wage certainly is going to be an impact for us,” said David Schutte owner of Oliver’s Restaurant.

According to the new law private-sector employees can accrue one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours of work, up to 56 hours during a regular calendar year. You can find more information here.

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