New York Consolidated Laws, Labor Law - LAB § 650. Statement of public policy

There are persons employed in some occupations in the state of New York at wages insufficient to provide adequate maintenance for themselves and their families.  Such employment impairs the health, efficiency, and well-being of the persons so employed, constitutes unfair competition against other employers and their employees, threatens the stability of industry, reduces the purchasing power of employees, and requires, in many instances, that wages be supplemented by the payment of public moneys for relief or other public and private assistance.  Employment of persons at these insufficient rates of pay threatens the health and well-being of the people of this state and injures the overall economy.

Accordingly, it is the declared policy of the state of New York that such conditions be eliminated as rapidly as practicable without substantially curtailing opportunities for employment or earning power.  To this end minimum wage standards shall be established and maintained.

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