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Local businesses adjust to new minimum wage, family leave laws

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SCHENECTADY, NY – Small businesses across the Capital Region are adjusting to new laws on minimum wage and paid family leave.

The new laws now in effect raise the minimum wage to $10.40 per hour. the new paid family leave law allows most people working for a private employer eligible for eight weeks of paid time to take care of a new child, a sick family member, or assist a family member serving overseas in the military.

“If a worker needed to take time off, they often feared they’d lose their job or not be able to put food on the table”, said Roberta Reardon, Commissioner for the State Labor Department.

By 2021, the program will expand to 12 weeks of paid family leave... but another thing workers are seeing locally right away is a $.70 increase in the minimum wage, to $10.40 an hour. It’s this increase that is causing concern for employers like Anthony Adonnino of Home Style Pizza in Schenectady.

“The only option I’ll have really is to try a retrieve some of these cost increases through increases in pricing”, Adonnino tells CBS 6.

When we raised the issue with Commissioner Reardon, she said ““I understand there may be some pinches for some employers, but one of the things about the minimum wage going up of course is that when workers make more money, they spend more money - that money goes right back into the local economy.”

According to the State’s Department of Labor, the minimum wage will continue rising to hit $15 per hour by 2021.

The Paid Family Leave program is funded by employee payroll contributions.

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