(1) The commissioner shall have power on his own motion to cause an investigation to be made of the wages being paid to persons employed in any occupation or occupations to ascertain whether the minimum wages established in accordance with the provisions of this article are sufficient to provide adequate maintenance and to protect the health of the persons employed in such occupation or occupations. The commissioner shall, on the petition of fifty or more residents of the state engaged in or affected by an occupation or occupations sought to be investigated, cause such an investigation of such occupation or occupations to be conducted. If, on the basis of information in his possession with or without such an investigation, the commissioner is of the opinion that any substantial number of persons employed in any occupation or occupations are receiving wages insufficient to provide adequate maintenance and to protect their health, he shall appoint a wage board to inquire into and report and recommend adequate minimum wages and regulations for employees in such occupation or occupations.
(2) The commissioner shall, within six months after enactment of any change in the statutory minimum wage set forth in subdivision one of section six hundred fifty-two of this article, appoint a wage board to inquire and report and recommend any changes to wage orders governing wages payable to food service workers. Such wage board shall be established consistent with the provisions of subdivision one of section six hundred fifty-five of this article, except the representatives of the employees shall be selected upon the nomination of the state American Federation of Labor/Congress of Industrial Organizations; and provided, further, that the representatives of the employers shall be selected upon the nomination of the New York State Business Council. Any wage order authorizing a lesser wage than the previously and statutorily mandated minimum wage for such employees shall be reviewed by the wage board to ascertain at what level such wage order is sufficient to provide adequate maintenance and to protect the health and livelihood of employees subject to such a wage order after a statutory increase in the mandated minimum wage.
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